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I. General Characteristics ... 
II. Relation of Sonnets to the Early Plays 

III. The History of the Publication 

IV. The State of the Text 

V. Early Manuscript Copies and Reprints 
VI. A Census of Copies 

Illustrative Title-Page — 

The John Wright imprint of i6op 






M 10775 5 

Though Shakespeare's sonnets are unequal in literary General 
merit, many reach levels of lyric melody and meditative energy <^fJ3'"a<^te"s- 
which are not to be matched elsewhere in poetry. Numerous 
lines like 

Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy 

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought 

seem to illustrate the perfection of human utterance. If 
a few of the poems sink into inanity beneath the burden of 
quibbles and conceits, others are almost overcharged with the 
mellowed sweetness of rhythm and metre, the depth of thought 
and feeling, the vividness of imagery, and the stimulating 
fervour of expression which are the finest fruits of poetic 
power. ^ 

' This preface mainly deals with the bibliographical history of the sonnets, 
and the problems involved in the circumstances of their publication. In 
regard to the general significance of the poems — their bearing on Shake- 
speare's biography and character or their relations to the massive sonnet 
literature of the day, at home and abroad — 1 only offer here a few remarks and 
illustrations supplementary to what I have already written on these subjects 
in my Ufe of Shakespeare, fifth edition, ipo^, or in the Introduction to the 
Elizabethan Sonnets, 1^04 (Constable's reissue of Arber's English Garnerj. 
The abundant criticism which has been lavished on my already published 
comments has not modified my faith in the justice of my general position 
or in the fruitfulness of my general line of investigation. My friend Canon 
Beeching has, in reply to my strictures, ably restated the « autobiographic' 
or 'literal' theory in his recent edition of the sonnets (1904), but it seems 
to me that he attaches insufficient weight to Shakespeare's habit of mind 
elsewhere, and to the customs and conventions of contemporary literature, 
especially to those which nearly touch the relations commonly subsisting 
among Elizabethan authors, patrons, and publishers. Canon Beeching's 


The inter- 

habit of 

The sonnets, which number 15-4, are not altogether of 
homogeneous character. Several are detached lyrics of im- 
personal applicarion. But the majority of them are addressed 
to a man, while more than twenty towards the end are 
addressed to s. woman.' In spite of the vagueness of inten- 
tion which envelops some of the poems, and the slenderness 
of the links which bind together many consecutive sonnets, 
the whole collection is well calculated to create the illusion 
of a series of earnest personal confessions. The collection 
has consequently been often treated as a self-evident excerpt 
from the poet's autobiography. 

In the bulk of the sonnets the writer professes to 
describe his infatuation with a beautiful youth and his 
wrath with a disdainful mistress, who alienates the boy's affec- 
tion and draws him into dissolute courses. But any strictly 
literal or autobiographic interpretation has to meet a for- 
midable array of difficulties. Two general objections present 
themselves on the threshold of the discussion. In the first 
place, the autobiographic interpretation is to a large extent in 
conflict with the habit of mind and method of work which 
are disclosed in the rest of Shakespeare's achievement. In 
the second place, it credits the poet with humiliating 
experiences of which there is no hint elsewhere. 

On the first point, little more needs saying than that 
Shakespeare's mind was dominated and engrossed by genius 
for drama, and that, in view of his supreme mastery of dramatic 

comments on textual or critical points, which lie outside the scope of the 
controversy, seem to me acute and admirable. 

* It is not clear from the text whether all the sonnets addressed to a man 
are inscribed to the same person. Mingled, too, with those addressed to 
a man, are a few which offer no internal evidence whereby the sex of the 
addressee can be determined, and, when detached from their environment, 
were invariably judged by seventeenth and eighteenth-century readers to 
be addressed to a woman. 


power, the likelihood that any production of his pen should 
embody a genuine piece of autobiography is on a priori 
grounds small. Robert Browning, no mean psychologist, went 
as far as to assert that Shakespeare < ne'er so little ' at any 
point of his work left his < bosom's gate ajar ', and declared 
him incapable of unlocking his heart < with a sonnet-key'. 
That the energetic fervour which animates many of Shake- 
speare's sonnets should bear the living semblance of private 
ecstasy or anguish, is no confutation of Browning's view. 
No critic of insight has denied all tie of kinship between the 
fervour of the sonnets and the passion which is portrayed in 
the tragedies. The passion of the tragedies is invariably the 
dramatic or objective expression, in the vividest terms, of 
emotional experience, which, however common in human annals, 
is remote from the dramatist's own interest or circumstance. 
Even his two narrative poems, as Coleridge pointed out, 
betray ' the utter aloofness of the poet's own feelings from 
those of which he is at once the painter and the analyst'. 
Certainly the intense passion of the tragedies is never the 
mere literal presentment of the author's personal or sub- 
jective emotional experience, nor does it draw sustenance 
from episodes in his immediate environment. The personal 
note in the sonnets may well owe much to that dramatic 
instinct which could reproduce intuitively the subtlest thought 
and feeling of which man's mind is capable. 

The particular course and effect of the emotion, which 
Shakespeare portrayed in drama, were usually suggested or 
prescribed by some story in an historic chronicle or work 
of fiction. The detailed scheme of the sonnets seems to 
stand on something of the same footing as the plots of 
his plays. The sonnets weave together and develop with 
the finest poetic and dramatic sensibility themes which 


had already served, with inferior effect, the purposes of 
poetry many times before. The material for the subject- 
matter and the suggestion of the irregular emotion of the 
sonnets lay at Shakespeare's command in much literature by 
other pens. The obligation to draw on his personal experi- 
ences for his theme or its development was little greater 
in his sonnets than in his dramas. Hundreds of sonneteers 
had celebrated, in the language of love, the charms of young 
men — mainly by way of acknowledging their patronage in 
accordance with a convention which was peculiar to the 
period of the Renaissance. Thousands of poets had described 
their sufferings at the hands of imperious beauty. Others 
had found food for poetry in stories of mental conflict 
caused by a mistress's infidelity or a friend's coolness.' The 
spur of example never failed to incite Shakespeare's dramatic 
muse to activity, and at no period of literary history was 
the presentation of amorous adventures more often essayed 
in sonnets than by Shakespeare's poetic contemporaries at 
home and abroad during the last decade of the sixteenth 
century. It goes without saying that Shakespeare had his 
own experience of the emotions incident to love and friend- 
ship or that that experience added point and colour to his 
verse. But his dramatic genius absolved him of the need 

' The conflicts between the claims of friend and mistress on the affec- 
tions, and the griefs incident to the transfer of a mistress's attentions to 
a friend — recondite topics which are treated in Shakespeare's sonnets — seem 
no uncommon themes of Renaissance poetry. Clement Marot, whose work 
was very familiar to Spenser and other Elizabethan writers, in complicated 
verse headed ' A celle qui souhaita Marot aussi amoureux d'elle qu'un 
sien Amy' {CEuvres^ iT^^T?? P« 437)j describes himself in a situation resembling 
that which Shakespeare assigns to the ' friend ' of his sonnets. Being solicited 
in love by his comrade's mistress, Marot warns her of the crime against 
friendship to which she prompts him, and, less complacent than Shakespeare's 
* friend ', rejects her invitation on the ground that he has only half a heart 
to offer her, the other half being absorbed by friendship. 


of seeking his cue there exclusively. It was not in his nature 
(to paraphrase Browning again) to write merely for the purpose 
of airing his private woes and perplexities. 

Shakespeare acknowledged in his plays that «the truest 
poetry is the most feigning '. The exclusive embodiment in 
verse of mere private introspection was barely known to his 
era, and in these words the dramatist paid an explicit tribute 
to the potency in poetic literature of artistic impulse and 
control contrasted with the impotency of personal sensation, 
which is scarcely capable of discipline. To £qw of the sonnets 
can a controlling artistic impulse be denied by criticism. 
The best of them rank with the richest and most concentrated 
efforts of Shakespeare's pen. To pronounce them, alone of 
his extant work, free of that 'feigning', which he identified with 
<the truest poetry', is tantamount to denying his authorship of 
them, and to dismissing them from the Shakespearean canon. 

The second general objection which is raised by the The alleged 
theory of the sonnets' autobiographic significance can be stated [Je'^^nets. 
very briefly. A literal interpretation of the poems credits the 
poet with a moral instability which is at variance with the 
tone of all the rest of his work, and is rendered barely 
admissible by his contemporary reputation for 'honesty'. Of 
the 'pangs of despised love' for a woman, which he professes 
to sufter in the sonnets, nothing need be said in this connexion. 
But a purely literal interpretation of the impassioned pro- 
testations of affection for a ' lovely boy', which course through 
the sonnets, casts a slur on the dignity of the poet's name 
which scarcely bears discussion. Of friendship of the 
healthy manly type, not his plays alone, but the records of 
his biography, give fine and touching examples. All his 
dramatic writing, as well as his two narrative poems and the 
testimonies of his intimate associates in life, seems to prove 

B 2 



The com- 
study of 

him incapable of such a personal confession of morbid 
infatuation with a youth, as a literal interpretation discovers 
in the sonnets. 

It is in the light not merely of aesthetic appreciation but 
of contemporary literary history that Shakespeare's sonnets 
must be studied, if one hopes to reach any conclusions as to 
their precise significance which are entitled to confidence. 
No critic of his sonnets is justified in ignoring the con- 
temporary literary influences to which Shakespeare, in spite 
of his commanding genius, was subject throughout his extant 
work. It is well to bear in mind that Elizabethan sonneteers, 
whose number was legion, habitually levied heavy debts not 
only on the great masters of this form of verse in Italy 
and France, who invented or developed it, but on con- 
temporary foreign practitioners of ephemeral reputation. Nor 
should it be forgotten that the Elizabethan reading public 
repeatedly acknowledged a vein of artificiality in this natural- 
ized instrument of English poetry, and pointed out its cloying 
tendency to fantastic exaggeration of simulated passion.' 

Of chief importance is it to realize that the whole vocabu- 
ofbve^"^^^ lary of afi^ection — the commonest terms of endearment — often 
carried with them in Renaissance or Elizabethan poetry, and 
especially in Renaissance and Elizabethan sonnets, a poetic 
value that is wholly different from any that they bear to-day. 
The example of Tasso, the chief representative of the Renais- 
sance on the continent of Europe in Shakespeare's day, shows 
with singular lucidity how the language of love was suffered 
deliberately to clothe the conventional relations of poet to 

^ Impatience was constantly expressed with the literary habit of ' Oiling 
a saint with supple sonneting ', which was held to be of the essence of the 
Elizabethan sonnet (cf. J. D.'s EpgrammeSy 15- 5)8, Sonnet II at end, headed 
'Ignoto', and the other illustrations of contemporary criticism of sonnets in 
my Life of Shakesi:eare^ pp. iii-iz). 

Tasso and 


a helpful patron. Tasso not merely recorded in sonnets an 
apparently amorous devotion for his patron, the Duke of 
Ferrara, which is only intelligible in its historical environ- 
ment, but he also carefully describes in prose the precise 
sentiments which, with a view to retaining the ducal favour, 
he sedulously cultivated and poetized. In a long prose letter 
to a later friend and patron, the Duke of Urbino, he wrote 
of his attitude of mind to his first patron thus ' : < I confided 
in him, not as we hope in men, but as we trust in God. . . . 
It appeared to me, so long as I was under his protection, 
fortune and death had no power over me. Burning thus with 
devotion to my lord, as much as man ever did with love to 
his mistress, I became, without perceiving it, almost an idolater. 
I continued in Rome and in Ferrara many days and months 
in the same attachment and faith.' With illuminating frank- 
ness Tasso added : ' I went so far with a thousand acts of ob- 
servance, respect, affection, and almost adoration, that at last, 
as they say the courser grows slow by too much spurring, so 
his [i.e. the patron's] goodwill towards me slackened, because 
I sought it too ardently.' There is practical identity between 
the alternations of feeling which find touching voice in many of 
the sonnets of Shakespeare and those which colour Tasso's con- 
fession of his intercourse with his Duke of Ferrara. Both 
poets profess for a man a lover-like idolatry. Both attest the 
hopes and fears, which his favour evokes in them, with 
a fervour and intensity of emotion which it was only in the 
power of great poets to feign. 

That the language of love was in common use in Eliza- Poetic 
bethan England among poets in their intercourse with those onovTfm" 
who appreciated and encouraged their literary genius, is con- Queen 
vincingly illustrated by the mass of verse which was addressed 
^ Tasso, Opere, Pisa, 182 1-31, vol. xiii, p. z^%. 


to the greatest of all patrons of Elizabethan poetry — the 
Queen. The poets who sought her favour not merely com- 
mended the beauty of her mind and body with the semblance 
of amorous ecstasy ; they carried their professions of < love ' 
to the extreme limits of realism. They seasoned their notes 
of adoration with reproaches of inconstancy and infidelity, 
which they couched in the peculiarly intimate vocabulary that 
is characteristic of genuinely thwarted passion. 
Sir Walter Sir Walter Raleigh offers especially vivid evidence of the 

Raleigh. assuraucc with which the poetic client offered his patron the 
homage of varied manifestations of amoristic sentiment. He 
celebrated his devotion to the Queen in a poem, called 
Cynthia^ consisting of twenty-one books, of which only the 
last survives.' The tone of such portion as is extant is that 
of ecstatic love which is incapable of restraint. At one point 
the poet reflects 

[How] that the eyes of ?ny mind held her beams 
In every part transferred by love'^s swift thought ^ 

Far off or near, i?i waking or in dreams 
Imagination strong their lustre brought. 

Such force her angelic appearance had 
To master distance^ time or cruelty. 

Raleigh's simulated passion rendered him 

intentive, wakeful^ and dismayed, 
In fears, in dreams^ in feverous jealousy.^ 

' The date of Raleigh's composition is uncertain; most of the poem was 
probably composed about i5'94. ' Cynthia' is the name commonly given the 
Queen by her poetic admirers. Spenser, Barnfield, and numerous other poets 
accepted the convention. 

^ With some of the italicized words, passages in Shakespeare's sonnets 
may be compared, e. g. : — 
XXVII. 9-10. . . . my soul's imaginary sight 

Presents thy shadow to my sightless view. 
XLiii. ii-iz. When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade 

Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay. 


Thc obsequious dependant and professional suitor declares 
himself to be a sleepless lover, sleepless because of the cruelty 

XLiv. 1-z. If the dull substance of my flesh were thought. 
Injurious distance should not stop my way. 
LXi. i-i. Is it thy will thy image should keep open 
My heavy eyelids to the weary night? 

Similarly Spenser wrote of Queen Elizabeth in i^c^i in his Co/in Clouts come 
hojne aga'me with a warmth that must mislead any reader who closes his cars 
and eyes to the current conventions of amorous expression. Here are some 
of his assurances of regard (11. 4,72-80) ; — 

To her my thoughts I daily dedicate. 

To her my heart I nightly martyrize: 

To her my love I lowly do prostrate, 

To her my life 1 wholly sacrifice : 

My thought, my heart, my love, my life is she. 

And I hers ever only, ever one : 

One ever I all vowed hers to be. 

One ever I and others never none. 

As in Raleigh's case, Spenser draws attention to his sufferings as his patron's 

lover by night as well as by day. To take a third of a hundred instances 

that could be adduced of the impassioned vein of poetic addresses to Queen 

Elizabeth, Richard Barnfield wrote a volume of poems called (like Raleigh's 

poem) Cynthia, in honour of his sovereign (published in 1595"). In a prefatory 

address he calls the Queen ' his mistress '. Much high-strung panegyric 

follows, and he reaches his climax of adoring affection in a brief ode 

attached to the main poem. There he describes how, after other adventures 

in the fields of love, 'Eliza' has finally written her name on his heart 'in 

characters of crimson blood '. Her fair eyes have inflicted on him a fatal 

wound. The common note of familiarity in a poet's addresses to patrons is 

well illustrated by the fluency of style in which Barnfield professes his affection 

for the Queen ; — ,, .^ . . , _ 

^^ Her it is, for whom 1 mourne; 

Her, for whom my life I scorne ; 

Her, for whom 1 weepe all day • 

Her, for whom I sigh, and say. 

Either She, or els no creature. 

Shall enioy my loue : whose feature 

Though I neuer can obtaine, 

Yet shall my true loue remaine : 

Till (my body turned to clay) 

My poore soule must passe away, 

To the heauens; where (I hope) 

Hit shall finde a resting scope : 

Then since I loued thee (alone) 

Remember me when 1 am gone. 


of his mistress in refusing him her old favours. In vain he 
tries to blot out of his mind the joys of her past kindness 
and to abandon the hopeless pursuit of her affection. He is 
< a man distract ', who, striving and raging in vain to free 
himself from strong chains of love, merely suffers < change of 
passion from woe to wrath '. The illusion of genuine passion 
could hardly be produced with better effect than in lines like 
these : — 

The thoughts of past times, like flafnes of hell^ 
Kindled afresh within my memory 

The many dear achievements that befell 
In those prime years and infancy of love. 

It was in the vein of Raleigh's addresses to the Queen 
that Elizabethan poets habitually sought, not her countenance 
only, but that of her noble courtiers. Great lords and great 
ladies alike — the difference of sex was disregarded — were 
repeatedly assured by poetic clients that their mental 
and physical charms excited in them the passion of love. 
Protestations of affection, familiarly phrased, were clearly 
encouraged in their poetic clients by noble patrons.' Nashe, 
a typical Elizabethan, who was thoroughly impregnated 
with the spirit and temper of the times, bore (in if 95*) 
unqualified witness to the poetic practice when he wrote of 
Gabriel Harvey, who religiously observed all current con- 
ventions in his relations with patrons : — 

Harvey's * I hauc pcruscd vcarscs of his, written vnder his owne 

love-poems hand to Sir Philip Sidney^ wherein he courted him as he were 
Sidney ^ '^ another Cyparissus or Ganimede ; the last Gordian true loues 
knot or knitting up of them is this : — 

' The two sonnets which accompanied Nashe's gift to the young Earl of 
Southampton of an obscene poem called The choosing of Valentines^ sufficiently 
indicate the tone of intimacy which often infected ' the dedicated words which 
writers used ' when they were seeking or acknowledging patrons' favours. 


Sum iecur, ex quo tc piimum, Sydneie, vidi j 
Os oculosque regit, cogit amare iecur. 

All liver am /, Sidney, since I saw thecj 

My mouth, eyes, rule it and to loue doth draw mee.' 

AH the verse, which Elizabethan poets conventionally 
affirmed to be fired by an amorous infatuation with patrons, 
was liable to the like biting sarcasm from the scoffer.^ But 
no satiric censure seemed capable of stemming the tide of 
passionate adulation, in what Shakespeare himself called 
<the liver vein', which in his lifetime flowed about the 
patrons of Elizabethan poetry. Until comparatively late in 
the seventeenth century there was ample justification for 
Sir Philip Sidney's warning of the flattery that awaited those 
who patronized poets and poetry : 'Thus doing you shall be 
[hailed as] most fair, most rich, most wise, most all- thus 
doing, you shall dwell upon superlatives; thus doing, your 
soul shall be placed with Dante's Beatrice.' There can be 
little doubt that Shakespeare, always prone to follow the 
contemporary fashion, yielded to the prevailing tendency and 
penned many sonnets in that < liver vein ' which was especially 
calculated to fascinate the ear of his literature-loving and 
self-indulgent patron, the Earl of Southampton. The illusion"" 
of passion which colours his verse was beyond the scope of other 
contemporary 'idolaters' of patrons, because it was a manifesta- 
tion of his superlative and ever-active dramatic power. 

' < Have with you to Saffron- Walden ' (O 3 verso), in Nashe's Works^ ed. 
McKerrow, vol. iii, p. pi. 

^ On the conventional sonnet of adoration Shakespeare himself passed 
derisively the same sort of reflection as Nashe when, in love's Labour's Lost 
(iv. 3. 74. scq.), he bestows on a love-sonnet the comment : — 

This is the liver vein^ which makes flesh a deity, 

A green goose a goddess; pure, pure idolatry. 

God amend us, God amend ! we are much out of the way. 




Date of the It is not known for certain when Shakespeare's sonnets 

sonnets. y^Q^c written. They were probably produced at various 
dates, but such external evidence as is accessible assigns 
the majority of them to a comparatively early period of 
Shakespeare's career, to a period antecedent to ifpS. In- 
ternal evidence is on this point very strongly corroborative 
of the external testimony. The language and imagery of 
the sonnets closely connects them with the work which is 
positively known to have occupied Shakespeare before if 95" 
or 1 5-9 (J. The passages and expressions which are nearly 
matched in plays of a later period are not unimportant, but 
they are inferior in number to those which find a parallel 
in the narrative poems of 1^9^ and i5"94, or in the plays 
of similar date. Again, only a few of the parallels in the 
later work are so close in phrase or sentiment as those in 
the earlier work.' 
The plea for Two leading themes of the sonnets are very closely 

marriage. associated with Shakespeare's poem of Fenus and Adonis and 
the plays that were composed about the same date. The 
first seventeen poems, in which the poet urges a beautiful 
youth to marry, and to bequeath his beauty to posterity, 
repeat with somewhat greater exuberance, but with no 
variation of sentiment, the plea that Venus thrice fervently 

^ Almost every play of Shakespeare offers some parallels to expressions 
in the sonnets. Canon Beeching (pp. xxv-xxvii) has collected several (which 
are of great interest) from Henry IV and Hamlet ^ but they are not numerous 
enough to justify any very large conclusion. It does not seem to have been 
noticed that the words 'Quietus ' {Hamlet^ iii. i. 75*, and Sonnet CXXVI. ii) 
and ' My prophetic soul ' {Hamlet^ i. 5". 40, and Sonnet CVII. i) come in Hamlet 
and the sonnets, and nowhere else. The sonnets in which they occur may be 
of comparatively late date, but the evidence is not conclusive in itself. 


urges on Adonis in Shakespeare's poem (cf. 11. 129-32, 
1(^2-74, 17 y 1-6^). The plea is again developed by Shake- 
speare in T{omeo and Juliet^ i. i. 218-28. Elsewhere he only- 
makes slight and passing allusion to it — viz. in JU's Welly 
i. I. 135, and in Twelfth Nighty i. f. 273-7. The bare 
treatment, which the subject receives in these comparatively 
late plays, notably contrasts with the fullness of exposition 
in the earlier passages.' 

An almost equally prominent theme of Shakespeare's The 
sonnets — the power of verse to <• eternize ' the person whom f^^uJ^^^of 
it commemorated — likewise suggests early composition. The verse, 
conceit is of classical origin, and is of constant recurrence 
in Renaissance poetry throughout Western Europe. The 
French poet, Ronsard, never tired of repeating it in the 
odes and sonnets which he addressed to his patrons, and 
Spenser, Daniel, and Drayton, among Elizabethan poets, 
emulated his example with energy. Shakespeare presents 
the theme in much the same fashion as his English con- 
temporaries, and borrows an occasional phrase from poems 
by them, which were in print before 1^9^- But the first 
impulse to adopt the proud boast seems to have come from 
his youthful study of Ovid. Of all Latin poets, Ovid gave 
the pretension most frequent and most frank expression. 
Sonnet LV, where Shakespeare handles the conceit with 

' Nothing was commoner in Renaissance literature than for a literary 
client to urge on a patron the duty of transmitting to future ages his charms 
and attainments. The plea is versified in Sir Philip Sidncy^s Arcadia (bk. iii) 
in the addresses of the old dependant Geron to his master Prince Histor, and 
in Guarini's Fastor Fido (1585) in the addresses of the old dependant Linco to 
his master the hero Silvio. Chapman dwells on the theme in an address to 
his patron the Duke of Lennox, in his translation of Homer's Iliad (of which 
the publication began in i')^'^) : — 

None ever lived by self-love; others' good 
Is th' object of our own. They living die 

That bury in themselves their fortunes' brood. 

C 2 


gorgeous effect, assimilates several lines from the exultant 

outburst at the close of Ovid's Metamorphoses. To that book, 

which Shakespeare often consulted, he had especial recourse 

when writing Fenus and Adonis. Moreover, a second work 

of Ovid was also at Shakespeare's hand, when his first 

narrative poem was in process of composition. The Latin 

couplet, which Shakespeare quoted on the title-page of Venus 

and Adonis^ comes from that one of Ovid's Am ores (or 

* Elegies of Love') in which the Latin poet with fiery 

vehemence expatiates on the eternizing faculty of verse.' 

Ovid's vaunt in his 'Elegies' had clearly caught Shakespeare's 

eye when he was engaged on Feniis and Adonis^ and the 

impression seems to be freshly reflected in Shakespeare's 

treatment of the topic through the sonnets."^ 

The sonnets No internal evidence as to the chronological relations 

xliotr^x' ^^ ^^^ compositions from the same poet's pen is open to 

Lost. less dispute than that which is drawn from the tone and 

texture of the imagery and phraseology. The imagery and 

^ To the many instances I have adduced of the handling of this topic by 
Spenser and other Elizabethan poets, may be added this stanza from Roydon's 
Ele^e on Sir Philip Sidney, where he refers to the sonnets which Sidney, 
in the name of Astrophel, addressed to Lady Rich, in the name of Stella : — 
Then Astrophill hath honour'd thee [i.e. Stella]; 
For when thy body is extinct. 
Thy graces shall cternall be, 
And live by vertue of his inkej 
For by his verses he doth give 
To short-livde beautie aye to live. 
^ Cf. Mortalc est, quod quaeris, opus; mihi fama perennis 
Quaeritur, in toto semper ut orbe canar. 

(Ovid's ' Amores', i. xv. 7-8.} 
The Vejtus and Adonis motto is immediately preceded in Ovid's ' Amores ' 
(i. XV. %')-(>) by these lines: — 

Ergo cum silices, cum dens patientis aratri, 

Depereant aevo, carmina morte carent. 
Cedant carminibus reges regumque triumphi, 
Cedat et auriferi ripa benigna Tagi. (31-4.) 


phraseology of great poets suffer constant flow. Their stores 
are continually replenished in the course of their careers. 
Whenever, therefore, any really substantial part of the 
imagery and phraseology in two or more works is of 
identical tone and texture, no doubt seems permissible that 
they belong to the same epoch in the poet's career. Appli- 
cation of these principles to Shakespeare's sonnets can lead to 
no other result than that the bulk of them are of the same 
date as the earliest plays. 

Probably Shakespeare's earliest comedy. Lovers Labour 'j- 
Lost^ offers a longer list of parallels to the phraseology and 
imagery of the sonnets than any other of his works/ The 
details in the resemblance — the drift of style and thought — 
confirm the conclusion that most of the sonnets belong to 
the same period of the poet's life as the comedy. Longa- 
ville's regular sonnet in the play (iv. 3. 60-7-^) closely 
catches the tone that is familiar to readers of Shakespeare's 
great collection. Like thirty-four of Shakespeare's collected 
quatorzains, it begins with the rhetorical question : — 

Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye, 
'Gainst whom the v/orld cannot hold argument, 
Persuade my heart to this false perjury? 
Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment. 

But apart from syntactical or metrical forms, the 
imagery in Lovers Labour'* s Lost is often almost identical 
with that of the sonnets. 

The lyric image of sun-worship in Sonnet VII. 1-4 : — 

Lo, in the Orient when the gracious light 
Lifts up his burning head, each under eye 

^ Cf. Mr. C. F. McClumpha's papers on the relation of the sonnets (i) 
with Loi'e's Labour's Lost^ and (i) with Romeo and Juliet^ respectively, in 
Modern Language Notes^ vol. xv, No. 6", June, icjoo, pp. 337-4-6^, and in 
Shakespeare-Jahrbuchy xl. pp. 187 seq. (Weimar, 15)04). 



DotJy homage to his new-appearing sight, 
Serving with looks his sacred majesty^ 

reappears in heightened colour in Biron's speech in Lovers 
Labour^s Lost (iv. 3. 221-8): — 

Who sees the heavenly Rosaline, 
That like a rude and savage man of Inde, 
At the first opening of the gorgeous East^ 
Bows not his vassal head^ and st rue ken blind 
Kisses the base ground with obedient breast? 
What peremptory eagle-sighted eye 
Dares look upon the heaven of her brow, 
That is not blinded by her majesty r* 

Only here and in another early play — 'Borneo and Juliet — 
is the imagery of sun-worship brought by Shakespeare into 
the same relief/ 

Another conceit which Shakespeare develops persistently, 
in almost identical language, in both the sonnets and Lovers 
Labour"* s Los t^ is that the eye is the sole source of love, the 
exclusive home of beauty, the creator, too, of strange 
delusions in the minds of lovers/ 

' Cf. 'Romeo and Juliet^ i, i. 114-5:: 

the luorshipp'd sun 
Peer'd forth the golden window of the east. 
^ Cf. Sonnet xiv. 9 : 

But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive. 
L. L, L. iv. 3. 350 : 

From luomefi's eyes this doctrine I derive ^ &c. 
Sonnet xvii. 5-6 : 

If I could write the beauty of your eyes 
And in fresh numbers number all your graces. 
li. Zi. L,. iv. 3, 311-3 : 

Such fiery numbers as the prompting eyes 
Of beauty's tutors have enriched you with. 
Cf. again Sonnet cxiv. 1-7 with L. L. L. v. z. 770-y. For a curious parallel 
use of the law terms 'several' and 'common* see Sonnet cxxxvii. p, 10, and 
JL. L, L. ii. I. aaj. 


Furthermore, the taunts which Biron's friends address 
to him on the black or dark complexion of his lady love, 
Rosaline, are in phrase and temper at one with Shakespeare's 
addresses to his * dark lady ' in the sonnets. In the comedy 
and in the poems Shakespeare plays precisely the same 
fantastic variations on the conventional controversy of 
Renaissance lyrists, whether a black complexion be a sign 
of virtue or of vice.' 

' Hardly briercr is the list of similarities of phrase and image offered by 
Shakespeare's earliest romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet. The following 
four examples are representative of many more : — 

Son, XXV, '^—6 : their fair leaves spread 

But as the marigold at the sun's eye. 

Rom. and Jul. i. I. 15" 7-8 : 

[bud] can spread his sweet leaves to the air, 
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun. 

Son, xcviii. 1-3 : 

When proud-pied April^ dressed in all his trim^ 
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything. 
Rom. and Jul. i. 1. 16-1 : 

Such comfoit as do lusty young men feel 
When luell-appareird April . . . 

Son. cxxxvr. 8-5) : 

Among a number one is reckoT^d none : 
Then in the number let me pass untold. 

Rom. and Jul, i. z. 32-3 : 

Which on more view of many^ mine being one 
May stand in number^ though in reckoning none. 

Son. Lxxxiv. ')-6: 

Lean penury within that pen doth dwell 
That to his subject lends not some small glory, 

Rom, and Jul. i. 3. yc-i : 

That book in many eyes doth share the glory 
That in gold clasps locks in the golden story. 

One of the most perfect utterances of the sonnets (XXXIII. 4), the description 
of the glorious morning sun, 

Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy. 



peculiar to 
sonnets and 
early plays. 

At many points, characteristic features of Shakespeare's 
vocabulary in the sonnets are as intimately associated with 
the early plays as the imagery. Several uncommon yet 
significant words in the sonnets figure in early plays and 
nowhere else. Such are the epithet < dateless', which is 
twice used in the sonnets — XXX. 6 and CLIII. <5, and is 
only used twice elsewhere, in two early plays, J^clmrd 11^ i. 3. 
15-1, and J<^meo and Juliet^ v. 3. 1 1 y'; the two words ^compile' 
(LXX VIII. 9), or <■ compil'd ' (LXXX V. 2), and < filed ' (in the 
sense of < polished '), which only appear in the sonnets and in 
LovPj Labour'^s Lost (lY. 3. 134; v. 2. 5-2 and 8^(5; v. i. 12); 
the participial < Out-worn' in sonnets LXIV. 2 < Out-worn 
buried age', and LXVIII. i <days out-worn', which is only 
met with in Lucrece^ iSfo? 'the worn-out age', and 1761^ 
<time out-worn'; the epithet < world -without -end ', Sonnet 
LVII. f, which is only found elsewhere in Lovers Labour"* s 
LostyV. 2. 799; 'wires' for 'hair' (CXXX, 4), a favourite 
word with Elizabethan somieteers between 15-90 and 15*9 7? 
which is only found elsewhere in the epithet ' wiry ' for 
< hairy ' in IQwg Johny iii. 4. 6^ ; and <■ idolatry ' (< Let not 
my love be called idolatry') in CV. i, which is used else- 
where in five plays ^ — one alone, Tr otitis and Cressida (ii. 2. 5-5), 
being of later period. 

is closely akin to the lines in yet another early play. Midsummer Night's Dream^ 
iii. X. 391-3, where we read how 

the Eastern gate, all fiery red, 
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams. 
Turns Into yellow gold his salt-green streams. 
' Cf. Son. XXX. 6 : 

For precious friends hid in death's dateless night. 
Rom. and Jul. v. 3. 115 : 

A dateless bargain to engrossing death\ 
= Viz. Tiuo Gentlemen^ iv. <f. 207; Love's Labour's Lost^ iv. 3. 75; 
A Midsummer Night's Dream^ i. 1 . 1 09 ; Romeo and Juliet^ ii. a. 1 14 ; and Trollus 
and Cressida^ ii. a. 56^. 


Three rare words which testify to Shakespeare's French 
reading — < rondure' (XXI. 8), < couplement ' (XXI. y), and 
'carcanet', i.e. necklace (LII. 8) — are only found elsewhere 
respectively in Kjfigjohn^ ii. i. 25-9, in Lovers Labour'' s Lost^ 
V. 2. 5" 3 5", and in Comedy of Errors^ iii. r. 4. 

One or two quotations or adaptations of lines of the Early 
sonnets in work by other pens, bring further testimony to fj°'^°7he^ 
the comparatively early date of composition. In these in- sonnets, 
stances the likelihood that Shakespeare was the borrower 
is very small. The whole line (XCIV. 14) — 

Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds 

appeared before lypf in the play of < Edward III ' (ii. i. 45-1), 
together with several distinctive phrases.' The poet Barnfield, 
who, in poems published in that and the previous year, 
borrowed with great freedom from Venus and Jdonis and 
Lucrece^ levied loans on the sonnets at the same time.* 

' Two are especially noteworthy, viz. ' scarlet ornaments ', of the lips or 
cheeks [Son. CXLIII. 6 and Ediv. Ill, ii. i. lo), and 'flatter', applied to the 
effect of sunlight {Son. XXXIII. z and Ediv. Ill, i. 2. 142). 

' In Sonnet LXXXV Shakespeare uses together the rare words ^compiled* 
and * filed ' (in the sense of ' polished ') when he writes of 

comments of your praise, richly compiled, , . . 
And precious phrase by all the Muses filed. 
Barnfield, in his Cassandra, which was ready for publication in January, if^f, 
writes on the same page of his heroine's lover that ' his tongue compiles her 
praise\ and subsequently of 'her ^/^</ tongue'. The collocation of the expres- 
sions is curious. Barnfield's descriptions in his Affectionate Shepheard (1794) 
of his youth's ' amber locks trust up in golden tramels ', ' which dangle adowne 
his louely cheekes ', with the poet's warning of 'th' indecencie of mens long 
haire ', and the appeal to the boy, ' Cut off thy Locke, and sell it for gold wier ' 
[Affectionate Shepheard, I. ii ; II. xix, xxiii), may comment on Shakespeare's 
sonnet LXVIII, where the youth is extravagantly complimented on the beauty 
of his 'golden tresses', which 'show false art what beauty was of yore', in 
Shakespeare's sonnet XCVIII, lines 8-12 — 

Nor did I wonder at the lily's luhite^ 
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose ; 
They were but sweet, but figures of delight, 
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those, 



In two sonnets (published in Jan. 179^) Barnfield depre- 
ciated the beauty of heroes of antiquity compared with his 
own fair friend. Sonnet XII begins : — 

Some talke of Ganymede th' Idalian Boy 
And some of faire Mo?jis make their boast, 
Some talk of him [i.e. Castor], whom louely Laeda 
[i.e. mother of Helen] lost . . . 

Sonnet XVII opens : — • 

Cherry-lipt Adonis in his snowie shape. 

Might not compare with his pure luorie white. 

Both seem crude echoes of Shakespeare's sonnet LIII : — 

Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit 
Is poorly imitated after you. 

in private 


All occasional poetry, and especially poetry for patrons 
< in the liver vein ', was usually < kept in private ' in the 

possibly reflect Barnficld's lines in the Affectionate Shepheard {\. iii) : — 
His luory-'whtte and Alabaster skin 
Is staind throughout with rare Vermillion red. 
But as the Lrllie and the blushing Rose^ 
So white and red on him in order grows. 
It is curious to note that this is the only place in all his works where Shake- 
speare uses the word 'vermilion'. It is not uncommon in Elizabethan literature; 
cf. Sidney's Astrophel^ cii. 5, ' vermillioa dyes'; Daniel's Rosamond (i^^z), 
1. ^'78, 'vermilion red' (of roses); J.C.'s Alalia {i^^6), « Vermillion hue' (in 
Elizabethan Longer Poems, p. ^61). But it is far more frequent in sixteenth- 
century French and Italian poetry (vermeil and vermiglio). It is used in all 
the early Italian poems concerning Venus and Adonis which were accessible 
to Shakespeare. Cf. Dolce's La Favola d'Adone, iv. 7 : — 
Qulvi tra Gigli le vermiglie Rose 

Si dimostrano ogn' hor liete e vezzose. 
In both Dolce's Ln Favola d! A done (8^. 8) and Tarchagnota's VAdone (71. 6 
and 74. 'i.^ Adonis' Aex\ bodv is metamorohosed into ' uno vermizUo fiore' or 
« quel fior 


Elizabethan era. It was 'held back from publishing'. It 
circulated only among the author's or the patron's friends. 
The earliest known reference to the existence of any collec- 
tion of sonnets by Shakespeare indicates that he followed the 
fashion in writing them exclusively for private audiences.' 

In 15-98 the critic, Francis Meres, by way of confirming 
the statement that 'the sweet, witty soul of Ovid li^'cs in 
mellifluous and honey-tong-ued Shakespeare', called to ^witness 
his Venus and Adonis^ his Lucrecc^ his sugared Sonnets among 
his private friends etc' There can be little question that 
Meres refers to sonnets by Shakespeare which were in circula- 
tion among his private friends, and were, in the critic's mind, 
chiefly distinguished from Shakespeare's two narrative poems 
by being unpublished and in private hands/ Meres' lan- 
guage is too vague to press very closely. The use of the 
common and conventional epithet < sugared ' suggests that 
Shakespeare's sonnets were credited by the writer with the 
ordinary characteristics of the artificial sonneteering of the 

* Of the specimens of adulatory verse to which reference has been made 
above, neither the work of Raleigh, nor of Nashe, nor of Harvey was printed 
in the authors' lifetime. Harvey's confession of Jove for Sir Philip Sidney is 
not known to be extant. The manuscript copies in which Raleigh's and 
Nashe's verse declared their passion for their patrons were printed for the 
first time in our own day. 

" Manuscript poems written for and circulating among an Elizabethan 
poet's friends rarely reached his own hand again. In i5'93 the veteran poet, 
Thomas Churchyard, when enumerating in his Ckallenge unpublished pieces by 
himself which had been 'gotten from me of some such noble freevds as I am 
loath to offend ', includes in his list ' an Injiiitte number of other Songcs and 
Sonets^ giuen where they cannot be recouered, nor purchase any fauour when 
they are craued '. 

^ The conventional epithet 'sugared' was often applied to poetry for 
patrons. In the Retume from Tarnassus (idoor), a poverty-stricken scholar, 
who seeks the favour of a rich patron, is counselled to give the patron 'some 
sugar candy tearms ' (1!. 1377-8), while to the patron's son 'shall thy piping 
poetry and sugar endes of verses be directed ' (1. 140+). In the same piece 
(1. 24.3) Daniel was congratulated on his ^sugared sonneting'. Cf. ^ sugred 

D 2 


Meres' evidence as to the < private' circulation of 
a number of Shakespeare's sonnets in 1^98 received the best 
possible corroboration a year later, when two sonnets, which 
were undoubtedly by Shakespeare, were printed for the first 
time in the poetic miscellany, The Passictiate Pilgrim. That 
volume v/as compiled piratically by the publisher, William 
Jaggard, from ^private' manuscripts, and although its contents 
were from various pens, all were ascribed collectively to 
Shakespeare on the title-page. 

There are indications that separate sonnets by Shake- 
speare continued to be copied and to circulate in MS. in the 
years that immediately followed. But ten years elapsed before 
Sliakespeare's sonnets were distinctly heard of in public again. 
Then as many as 1 5-4 were brought together and were given 
to the world in a quarto volume.' 
Thepublica- On May 20, i<^09, the grant of a licence for the publica- 

tion of Shakespeare's sonnets was thus entered in the Registers 
of the Stationers' Company : < Entred [to Thomas Thorpe] 
for his copie vnder th' andes of master Wilson and master 
Lownes Warden, a Booke called Shakespeares soruiettes Vf;> 

A knowledge of the career and character of Thomas 
Thorpe, who was owner of the copyright and caused the 
sonnets to be published, is needful to a correct apprehension 

talk', Fletcher's L/V/a, I5'5>3, Sonnet ^a, 1. i ; ^ sugred terms', R. L.'s D'lella^ 
i^cji), Sonnet 4.; 'Master Thomas Watson's sugred Amintas' in Nashe's 
preface to Greene's Menaphon^ 1^89. 'Sucre' is similarly used in French 
literature of the same date. 

' Eleazar Edgar, a small publisher, who took up his freedom on June 16^ 
15-97, obtained from the Stationers' Company on January 3, i<5'oo, a licence 
for the publication oi ^Amours, by J. D., with Certen Oy' (i.e. other) sonnetes 
by W. S.' No book corresponding to this title seems to have been published. 
There is small ground for identifying the W. S. of this licence with Shakespeare. 
There was another sonneteer of the day, William Smith, who had published 
a collection of sonnets under the title of Chloris^ in i ')^6. Edgar may have 
designed the publication of another collection by Smith. 

tion of the 


of the manner in which they reached the printing-press or to 
a right apprehension of the order in which they were pre- 
sented to the reading public. The story has many points of 
resemblance with that of William Jaggard's publication of 
The Passionate Pilgrim in iS99- 

Thorpe, a native of Barnet in Middlesex, where his father Thorpe's 

-1 « • J r • ^ early life. 

kept an imi, was at Midsummer, 15-84, apprenticed tor nine 
years to an old-established London printer and stationer, 
Richard Wat kins, whose business premises were at the sign of 
Love and Death in St. Paul's Churchyard. Nearly ten years 
later he took up the freedom of the Stationers' Company. 
He seems to have become a stationer's assistant. Fortune 
rarely favoured him, and he held his own with difficulty for 
some thirty years in the lowest ranks of the London publish- 
ing trade. 

In 1 600 there fell into his hands a « private ' written His owner- 
copy of Marlowe's unprinted translation of the first book of 'j^^^us Jip't 
Luca7i. Thorpe, who was not destitute of a taste for litera- of Marlowe's 

ture he knew scraps of Latin and recognized a good MS. 

when he saw one — interested in his find Edward Blount \ then 
a stationer's assistant like himself, but with better prospects. 
Through Blount's good offices, Peter Short printed Thorpe's 
MS. of Marlowe's Luca??^ and Walter Burre sold it at his shop 
in St. Paul's Churchyard. 

As owner of the MS., Thorpe chose his patron and His 
supplied the dedicatory epistle. The patron of his choice Jdresfto 
was his friend Blount. The style of the dedication was Edward 

•^ J . . Blount in 

somewhat flamboyant, but Thorpe showed a literary sense i^^o 

^ Blount had already achieved a modest success in the same capacity of 
procurer or picker-up of neglected ' copy'. In 1598 he became proprietor of 
Marlowe's unfinished and unpublished Hero and L.eander^ and found among 
better-equipped friends in the trade both a printer and a publisher for his 


when he designated Marlowe < that pure elemental wit ', and 
a good deal of dry humour in offering to <his kind and 
true friend ', Blount, < some few instructions ' whereby he 
might accommodate himself to the unaccustomed role of 
patron. Thorpe gives a sarcastic description of a typical 
patron. 'When I bring you the book,' he advises Blount, 
<take physic and keep state. Assign me a time by your 
man to come again. . . , Censure scornfully enough and 
somewhat like a traveller. Commend nothing lest you dis- 
credit your (that which you would seem to have) judgment. 
. . . One special virtue in our patrons of these days I have 
promised myself you shall fit excellently, which is to give 
nothing.' Finally Thorpe, adopting the conventional tone, 
challenges his patron's love < both in this and, I hope, many 
more succeeding offices '. 

Three years later he was able to place his own name on 
the title-page of two humbler literary prizes — each an in- 
significant pamphlet on current events. Thenceforth for a 
dozen years his name reappeared annually on one, two, or 
three volumes. After i6i^ his operations were £qw and far 
between, and they ceased altogether in 162^, He seems to 
have ended his days in poverty, and has been identified with 
the Thomas Thorpe who was granted an alms-room in the 
hospital of Ewelme, Oxfordshire, on December 3, 1(^35'. 
Character of Thorpc was associatcd with the publication of twenty- 

his business. ^-^^^ yolumes in all, including Marlowe's Luca/? ; but in almost 
all his operations his personal energies were confined, as in his 
initial enterprise, to procuring the manuscript. For a short 
period in 160^ he occupied a shop, the Tiger's Head, in 
St. Paul's Churchyard, and the fact was duly announced on 
the title-pages of three publications which he issued in that 
year. But his other undertakings were described on their 


title-pages as printed for him by one stationer and sold for 
him by another, and when any address found mention at all, 
it was the shopkeeper's address, and not his own. He merely 
traded in the < copy ', which he procured how he could — in 
a few cases by purchase from the author, but in more cases 
through the irregular acquisition of a < private ' transcript of 
a work that was circulating at large and was not under the 
author's « protection '.' He never enjoyed in permanence the 
profits or dignity of printing his 'copy ' at a press of his own, 
or selling books on premises of his own. In this homeless 
fashion he pursued the well-understood profession of procurer 
of ' dispersed transcripts ' for a longer period than any other 
known member of the Stationers' Company. 

Besides Thorpe, there were actively engaged in the The printer 
publication of the first edition of Shakespeare's sonnets the ^^'^^'^ ^ ' 
printer George Eld and two booksellers, John Wright and 
William Aspley, who undertook the sale of the impression. 
The booksellers arranged that one-half of the copies should 
bear one of their names in the imprint, and the other half 
should bear the other's name. The even distribution of the 
two names on the extant copies suggests that the edition was 
precisely halved between the two. The practice was not un- 
common. In 1606 the bookseller Blount acquired the MS. 
of the long unpublished A Discourse of Civil/ Life, by Lodowick 

* Very few of his wares does Thorpe appear to have procured direct from 
the authors. It is true that between i6o^ and 1611 there were issued under 
his auspices some eight volumes of genuinely literary value, including, besides 
Shakespeare's sonnets, three plays by Chapman (of which the text is very bad), 
four works of Ben Jonson (which his old friend Blount seems to have procured 
for him), and Coryat's Odcomy'tan Banquet^ a piratical excerpt from Coryat's 
Crudities. Blount acquired the copyright of Ben Jonson's Sejanus on November a, 
i6'04, and assigned it to Thorpe on August 6^ id'oy. Thorpe did not retain 
the property long. He transferred his right in Sejanus, as well as in Jonson's 
Vol^one^ to Walter Burre on October 3, i^io. 


Bryskett, the friend of Spenser and Sidney. One-half of the 
edition bore the imprint, « London for Edward Blount,' and 
the other half, < London for W. Aspley.' ' 

Thorpe's printer. Eld, and his bookseller, Aspley, were 
in well-established positions in the trade. George Eld, who 
had taken up his freedom of the Stationers' Company on 
January 13, i5oo, married in 1^04 a widow who had already 
lost in rapid succession two husbands — both master-printers. 
The printing-press, with the office at the White Horse, in 
Fleet Lane, Old Bailey, which she inherited from her first 
husband Gabriel Simson (d. k^oo), she had handed over next 
year to her second husband Richard Read (d. 1504). On 
Read's death in 1^04, she straightway married Eld and her 
press passed to Eld. In 1^07 and subsequent years Eld was 
very busy both as printer and publisher. Among seven copy- 
rights which he acquired in 1607 was that of the play called 
The Puritaine, which he published with a title-page fraudu- 
lently assigning it to W. S. — initials which were clearly intended 
to suggest Shakespeare's name to the unwary. 
William Aspley, the most interesting of the three men engaged in 

booksellei^ producing Thorpe's venture, was the son of a clergyman of 
Royston, Cambridgeshire. After serving an apprenticeship 
with George Bishop, he was admitted a freeman on April 1 1, 
15-97. He never owned a press, but held in course of time 
the highest offices in the Company's gift, finally dying during 
the year of his mastership in 1640. His first shop was at the 
sign of the Tiger's Head in St. Paul's Churchyard, where 
Thorpe carried on business temporarily a few years later, but 
in 1 503 he succeeded Felix Norton in tlie more important 
premises at the sign of the Parrot in the same locality. It was 

* There are two copies in the British Museum with the two different 


there that half of Thorpe's edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets was 
offered for sale in 1^09. Aspley had already speculated in Shake- 
speare's work. He and a partner, Andrew Wise, acquired in 
id 00 copyrights of both the Second Part of Henry IF ^n(X Much 
Ado about Nothings and published jointly quarto editions of the 
two. In the grant to Aspley and his friend of the licence for 
publication of these two plays, the titles of the books are 
followed by the words <Wrytten by master Shakespere'. There 
is no earlier entry of the dramatist's name in the Stationers' 
Company Registers. In 1(^23 Aspley joined the syndicate whicli 
William Jaggard inaugurated for printing the First Folio 
edition of Shakespeare's plays, and he lived long enough to be 
a member of the new syndicate which was formed in 1611 to 
publish the Second Folio. Aspley had business relations with 
Thorpe, and with Thorpe's friend Blount, long before the issue 
of the Sonnets^ and probably supplied Thorpe with capital.' 

John Wright, the youngest of the associates in the John 
enterprise of the Sonnets^ had been admitted a freeman per boiHeller. 
patrimonium on June 28, i(5o2. His business was largely 
concerned with chap-books and ballads, but he was fortunate 
enough to acquire a few plays of interest. The most inter- 
esting publication in which he took part before the Sonnets^ 
was the pre-Shakesperean play on the subject of E^ng Lear^ 
the copyright of which he took over from a printer (Simon 
Stafford) on May 8, K^oy, on condition that he employed 

' On June 25, 1^00, Thorpe and Aspley were granted jointly a provisional 
licence for the publication of A leter written to ye governors and assistantes 
of ye E[a]st Indian Merchantes in London Concerning the estat[e] of yee[a]st 
Indian flete etc' The licence was endorsed : 'This is to be their copy gettinge 
aucthority for [it].' The book was ultimately published by Thorpe, and was 
the earliest publication on the title-page of which his name figured. A similar 
provisional licence, granted to the two men on the same day, came to nothing, 
being afterwards cancelled owing to the official recognition of another 
publisher's claim to the copy concerned (cf. Arber's Registers^ iii. 37). 




Stafford to print it, which he did. In idii he published 
a new edition of Marlowe's Faustus^ which came from 
Eld's press, and bore the same imprint as his impression of 
Shakespeare's sonnets. At a later period — on May 7, 162.6 — 
he joined the printer, John Haviland, in purchasing the 
copyright of Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis. His residence, 
described as < at Christ Church Gate ', was near Newgate. 
After 1 5 1 2 he removed to the sign ot ' the Bible without 
Newgate '. 
The There are many signs, apart from the state of the text, 

shlk"" ° which awaits our inquiry, that Shakespeare had no more 
speaie's dircct conccm in Thorpe's issue of his 15-4 sonnets in 1^09, 
than in Jaggard's issue of his two sonnets, with the other mis- 
cellaneous contents of The 'Passionate Pilgrim^ ten years before. 
The exceptionally brusque and commercial description of 
the poems, both in the entry of the licence in the Stationers' 
Company Register, and on the title-page, as < Shakespeares 
Sonnets ' (instead of < Sonnets by William Shakespeare '), 
is good evidence that the author was no party to the 
transaction.' The testimony afforded by the dedication to 
< Mr. W. H. ', which Thorpe signed with his initials on the 
leaf following the title-page, is even more conclusive."^ Only 
when the stationer owned the copyright and controlled the 
publication, did he choose the patron and sign the dedica- 
tion. Francis Newman, the stationer who printed ' dispersed 
transcripts ' of Sir Philip Sidney's sonnets for the first time in 
15-91, exercised the customary privilege. Thorpe had already 
done so himself when issuino; Marlowe's Lucan in i<^oo. 

' The nearest parallel is in the title of Br'ittons Bowrs of Delights (1^91), 
a poetic miscellany piratically assigned to the pott Nicholas Breton by the 
publisher Richard Jones. See Passionate Filgrim^ Introduction, p. 16. 

^ Initials, instead of full names, were commonly employed when the 
dedicatee was a private and undistinguished friend of the dedicator. 


There is no ground for the common assumption tliat Thededka- 
' T. T.' in addressing the dedication of Shakespeare's sonnets jJJ'" ^ h. 
to ' Mr. W. H.', was transgressing the ordinary law affecting 
publishers' dedications, and was covertly identifying the 
<loA^cly' youth whom Sliakespeare had eulogized in his sonnets. 
A study of Elizabethan and Jacobean bibliography can alone 
interpret the situation aright. In all probability Thorpe 
in the dedication of the Sonnets followed the analogy of his 
dedication of Marlowe's Lucan in 1600. There he selected 
for patron Blount, his friend-in-trade, who had aided him in 
the publication. His chosen patron of the edition of Shake- 
speare's Sonnets in idop was doubtless one who stood to him 
in a similar business relation. 

Although Thorpe's buoyant and self-complacent per- 
sonality slightly coloured his style, his dedicatory address 
to ' Mr. W. H. ' followed, with slight variations, the best 
recognized and most conventional of the dedicatory formulae 
of the day. He framed his salutation of < Mr. W. H.' into 
a wish for his patron's 'all happiness' and < eternity '.' <All 

' The formula was of great antiquity. Dante employed it in the dedica- 
tion of his D'tvhia Corumediaj which ran: 'Domino Kani Grandi de Scala 
dcvotissimus suus Dante Aligherius . . . vitam optat per tempora diuturna 
felicem, ct gloriosi nominis in perpctuum incrementum.' The Elizabethan 
dedicator commonly 'wisheth' his patron 'all happiness' and 'eternity' 
(or periphrases to that effect) by way of prelude or heading to a succeeding 
dedicatory epistle, but numerous examples could be adduced where the dedi- 
cator, as in Thorpe's case, left the 'wish' to stand alone, and where no epistle 
followed it. Thorpe's dedicatory procedure and choice of type was obviously 
influenced by Ben Jonson's form of dedication before the first edition of 
his FoZ/owf, which Thorpe published forjonsoa in 16^07 and which Eld printed. 
On the first leaf, following the title, appears in short lines (in the same fount of 
large capitals as that used in Thorpe's dedication to ' Mr. W. H.') these 
words: 'To the Most Noble | and Most Aequall [ Sisters | The Two Famovs 
Vniversitics | For their Love | And | Acceptance | Shewn | TohisPoeme | in 
the Presentation | Ben: lonson | The Gratefvll Acknowledger | Dedicates | 
Both It and Himsclfe [ .' In very small type, at the right-hand corner of the 

E 2 


happiness ', ' health and etemall happinesse ', *• all perseverance 
with soiiles happmess \ < health on earth temporall and liigher 
happiness eternalP^ <the prosperity of times siiccesse in this life, 
with the reward of etemitie in the world to come ' are variants 
of the common form, drawn from books that were produced 
at almost the same moment as Shakespeare's sonnets. The 
substantives are invariably governed by the identical inflexion 
of the verb — < wisheth ' — which Thorpe employed. 
The promise By attaching to the conventional complimentary mention 

e eini y. ^^ ^ eternity ' the ornamental phrase < promised by our ever- 
living poet' (i.e. Shakespeare), Thorpe momentarily indulged in 
that vein of grandiloquence of which other dedications from his 
pen furnish examples. <■ Promises ' of eternity were showered 
by poets on their patrons with prodigal hands. Shakespeare 
in his sonnets had repeated the current convention with 
much fervour when addressing a fair youth. Thorpe's 
interweaving of the conventional < wish ' of the ordinary 
bookmaker, with an allusion to the conventional < promise ' 
of the panegyrizing poet, gave fresh zest and emphasis to 
the well-worn phrases of complimentary courtesy. There 
is no implication in Thorpe's dedicatory greeting of an 
ellipse, after the word < promised', of the word 'him', i.e. 
<Mr. W. H.' Thorpe 'wisheth' 'Mr. W. H.' 'eternity', 
no less grudgingly than ' our ever-living poet ' offered his 
own friend the ' promise ' of it in his sonnets. 
Thorpe's Almost every phrase in his dedicatory greeting of 

tcchmca ^ ^^^ ^ -^ j j^ ^ technical significance, which has no bear- 

languagc. o ? 

ing on Shakespeare's intention as sonneteer, but exclusively 
concerns Thorpe's action and position as the publisher. In 
accordance with professional custom, Thorpe dubbed himself 

page, below this dedication, are the words : ' There follows an Epistle if | you 
dare venture on | the length.' The Epistle begins overleaf. 


' the well-wishing adventurer in setting forth ', and thereby 
claimed sole and exclusive responsibility for the under- 
taking. His fellow-publisher, William Barley, called himself 
his patron's 'faithful ivell-ivillcr^ when, in ifpf, he dedicated 
a book, the manuscript of which he had picked up without 
communication with the author, to Richard Stapar, a Turkey 
merchant of his acquaintance.' Similarly, when the dramatist 
John Marston in 1606 undertook to issue for himself his play 
named ' Parasitaster or the Fawne ', he pointed out in a prose 
preface that he (the author) was the sole controller of the 
publication, and was on this occasion his own 'setter out': 
' Let it therefore stand with good excuse that I have been 
my own setter out? 

To the title which Thorpe bestows on Mr. W. H., ' the vihc oniic 
onlie begetter of these insuing sonnets,' a like professional '^S'^"^'- 
significance attaches. In this phrase Thorpe acknowledges the 
services of < Mr. W. H.' in ' procuring ' and collecting in his 
behalf the ' private ' transcripts, from which the voliune 
was printed. To 'Mr. W. H.'s ' sole exertions the birth of 
the publication may be attributed. ' Mr. W. H.' filled a part 
which is familiarly known in the history of Elizabethan 
publishing as 'procurer of the copy '. In Elizabethan English 
there was no irregularity in the use of ' begetter ' in its 
primary sense of ' getter ' Ox ' procurer ', without any implica- 

' Barley saluted his patron (before Richard Haslctoii's report of his ' Ten 
years' Travels in foreign countries ') thus : ' Your worship's faithful well-wilier, 
W[illiam] Barley, wisheth all fortunate and happy success in all your enter- 
prises, with increase of worldly worship ; and, after death, the joys unspeak- 
able.' A rare copy of the tract is at Britwell. It is reprinted in Arber's 
Garner. The stationer Thomas VValklcy in i6^ai, in his preface to the 
Second Quarto of Beaumont and Fletcher's Thilastev^ wrote that "^he had 
adventured to issue a revised edition knowing how many loell-'wishers it had 
abroad'. Another 'stationer', Richard Hawkins, who published on his own 
account the third edition of the same play in i6r%^ described himself in the 
preliminary page as ' acting the merchant adventurer s part '. 


tion of that common secondary meaning of <■ breed ' or 
'generate', which in modern speech has altogether displaced 
the earlier signification.' 

' 'Beget' came into being as an intensive form of * get ', and was 
mainly employed in Anglo-Saxon and Mediaeval English in the sense of 
'obtain'. Jt acquired the specialized signification of 'breed' at a slightly 
later stage of development, and until the end of the seventeenth century it 
bore concurrently the alternative meanings of 'procure' (or 'obtain') and 
' breed ' (or ' produce '). Seventeenth-century literature and lexicography recog- 
nized these two senses of the word and no other. ' Begetter ' might 
mean 'father' (or 'author") or it might mean 'procurer' (or 'acquirer'). There 
is no suggestion that Thorpe meant that Mr. W. H. was ' author ' of the 
sonnets. Consequently doubt that he meant 'procurer' or 'acquirer' is 
barely justifiable. The following are six examples of the Elizabethan use 
of the word in its primary significance of 'procure': — 

(i) The mightier [sc. the] man, the mightier is the thing 

That makes him honour'd, or l>egets [i.e. procures] him hate. 

{^LucrecCy 1004.-5.) 
(i) We could at once put us in readiness, 
And take a lodging fit to entertain 
Such friends as Time in Padui shall teget [i.e. procure]. 

{Tam'mg of the Shrew, i. i. 43-5.) 

(3) 'In the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, the whirlwind of 
passion . . . acquire and IfCget a temperance.' [Hamlet, iii. 2. 6.) Hamlet in 
this sentence colloquially seeks emphasis by repetition, and the distinction of 
meaning to be drawn between 'acquire' and 'beget' is no more than tliat 
to be drawn between the preceding 'torrent' and 'tempest.' 

(4) 'I have some cousins german at Court [that] shall hegct you (i.e. 
procure for you) the reversion of the Master of the King's Revels.' (Dekker's 
Satirowasttx, iGzi i cf. Hawkins' Origin of B^igUsh Dr^ma, iii. 196'.) 

(5") ' [This play] hath hegot itself (i.e. procured for itself or obtained) 
a greater favour than he (i.e. Sejajius) lost, the love of good men.' (Ben Jon- 
son's dedication before Sejanus, k^o^, which was published by Thorpe.) 

[f^) [A spectator wishes to see a hero on the stage] ' kill Paynims, wild 
boars, dun cows, and other monsters; beget him (i.e. get him) a reputation, 
and marry an Emperor's daughter for his mistress'. (Ben Jonson's Mag?ietic 
Lady (1^31), Act i, Epilogue.) 

Jt should be borne in mind that in the Variorum edition of i8ii James 
Boswcll the younger, who there incorporated Malonc's unpublished collec- 
tions, appended to T. T.'s dedication the note : 'The word begetter is merely 
the person who gets or procures a thing, with the common prefix be added to 
it.' After quoting Dekker's use of the word as above (No. 4), Boswcll adds 
that W. H. probably ' furnished the printer with his copy '. Neither Stecvens 
nor Malone, who were singu'arly well versed in Elizabethan bibliography, 


A very few years earlier a cognomen almost identical 'First 
with < begetter ' (in the sense of procurer) was conferred in cd/eaour 
a popular anthology, entitled Belvedere or the Garden of the of these 
l\Iusesj on one who rendered its publisher the like service 
that Mr. W. H. seems to have rendered Thorpe, the publisher 
of Shakespeare's Sennets. One John Bodenham, filling much 
the same role as that assigned to Mr. W. H., brought together 
in 1600 a number of brief extracts ransacked from the 
unpublislied, as well as from the published, writings of con- 
temporary poets. Bodenham's collections fell into the hands 
of an enterprising < stationer ', one Hugh Astley, who published 
them under the title Belvedere or The Garden of the Pluses, After 
an unsigned address from the publisher ' To the Reader ' 
in explanation of the undertaking, there follows immediately 
a dedicatory sonnet inscribed to John Bodenham, who had 
brought the material for the volume together, and had 
committed it to the publisher's charge. The lines are signed 
in the publisher's behalf, by A. M. (probably the well-known 
writer, Anthony Munday). Bodenham was there apostro- 
phized as 

First causer and coUectour of these floures. 

In another address to the reader at the end of the book, 
which is headed ' The Conclusion ', the publisher again refers 
more prosaically to Bodenham, as < The Gentleman who 

recognized that ' begetter ' could be interpreted as ' inspirer ' — an interpreta- 
tion of which no example has been adduced. Daniel used the word ' begotten \ 
in the common sense of 'produced', in the dedicatory Sonnet to the 
Countess of Pembroke, before his collection of sonnets called Delia [I'^ipJ). 
He bids his patroness regard his poems as her own, as ^ begotten by thy hand 
and my desire' ; she is asked to treat them as if they were \\\.e\x\\y proJuceJ 
by, or born of, her hand or pen, at the writer's request. The countess was 
herself a writer of poetry, a circumstance which gives jxjint to Daniel's 
compliment. The passage is deprived of sense if 'begotten by thy hand' be 
accorded any other meaning. 



was the cause of this Collection' (p. 235-). When Thorpe 
called * Mr. W. H.' ' the onlie begetter of these insuing 
sonnets ', he probably meant no more than the organizers 
of the publication of the book called Belvedere^ in 1600^ meant 
when they conferred tlie appellations < first causer' and 'the 
cause' on John Bodenham, wlio was procurer for them of 
the copy for that enterprise/ 


State of the The comipt State of the text of Thorpe's edition of 

1^09 fully confirms the conclusion that the enterprise lacked 
authority, and was pursued throughout in that reckless spirit 
which infected publishing speculations of the day. The 
character of the numerous misreadings leaves little doubt that 
Thorpe had no means of access to the author's MS. The 
procurer of the <■ copy ' had obviously brought together 
' dispersed transcripts ' of varying accuracy. Many had 
accumulated incoherences in their progress from pen to pen.^ 
The <■ copy ' was constructed out of the papers circulating in 
private, and often gave only a hazy indication of the poet's 

' What was the name of which W. H. were the initials cannot be stated 
positively. I have given reasons for believing them to belong to one William 
Hall, a freeman of the Stationers" Company, who seems to have dealt^in un- 
published poems or ' dispersed transcripts ' in the early years of the seven- 
teenth century and to have procured their publication • cf. Life of Shakespeare^ 
p. 4.18 seq. 

- Like Sidney's sonnets, which long circulated in 'private' MSS., 
Shakespeare's collection ' being spread abroad in written copies, had gathered 
much conuption by ill writers (i.e. scriveners)'. Cf. the publisher Thomas 
Newman's dedicatory epistle before the first (unauthorized) edition of Sidney's 
Astropkel a7id Stella (i^pi). Thorpe's bookselling friend, Edward Blount, 
when he gathered together, without the author's aid, the scattered essays by 
John Earle, which Blount published in KJaS under the title of Micro-cosmo- 
graphie^ described them as *many sundry dispersed transcripts, some very 
imperfect and surreptitious '. 



meaning. The compiler had arranged the poems roughly in 
order of subject. The printer followed the manuscript with 
ignorant fidelity. Signs of inefficient correction of the press 
abound, and suggest haste in composition and press-work. 
The book is a comparatively short one, consisting of forty 
leaves and 2,1 5- (5 lines of verse. Yet there are probably on 
an average five defects per page or one in every ten lines. 

Of the following thirty-eight misprints, at least thirty Misprints. 
play havoc with the sense : — 

XII. 4. And sable curls or siluer'd ore with white : 
(for all). 
XXIII. 14. To heare ivit eies belongs to loues fine miht: 

(for with and wit). 
XXVI. II. And puts apparrell on my tottered louing: (for 
XXV II I. 14. And night doth nightly make greefes length 

seeme stronger : (for strength). 
XXXIX. 12. Which time and thoughts so sweetly dost 
deceiue : (for doth). 
XL. 7. But yet be blam'd, if thou this selfe deceauest : 
(for thy). 
XLiv. 13. Receiuing naught/ by elements so sloe. 
XLA II. II. For thou nor farther then my thoughts canst 
moue : (for not or 710). 
LI. 10. Therefore desire (of perfect/ love being 
Liv. 14. When that shall vade, by verse distils your 

truth : (for my). 
LVi. 13. Js cal it Winter, which being ful of care : 

(for or). 
Lxiii. 2. With times iniurious hand chrusht and ore- 
worne : (for crush"* d), 



Misprints. Lx\ . 12. Or who liis spoile or beautie can forbid 

(for of), 
Lxix. 5. All toiings (the voice of soulcs) giue thee that 
end', (for due). 
Lxxiii. 4. Bare ni'vpd quiers, where late the sweet birds 

sang : (for ruiti^d). 
Lxxvi. 7. That eiiery word dotji almost fel my name : 
(for tell). 
Lxxvii. iG. Commit to these waste blacks^ and thou shalt 

finde : (for blanks). 
Lxxxviii. I. When thou shalt be dispode to set me light: 
(for disposed). 
xc. II. But in the onset come, so stall I taste: (for 

xci. 9. Thy loue is bitter then high birth to me : 
(for better). 
xciv. 4. Vnmooued, coiildy and to temptation slow : 

(for cold). 
xcvi. II. How many gazers mighst thou lead away: 
(for mightest). 
xcix. 9. Our blushing shame, an other white dispaire : 
(for One). 
cii. 7-8. As Philomell in summers front doth singe, 

And stops his pipe in growth of riper daies : 
(for her). 
cv I. 12. They had not still enough your worth to 

sing: (for skill). 
c\'iii. 3. What's new to speake, what now to register: 

(for neiv). 
cxii. 14. That all the world besides ine thinkes y'*are 

dead', (for methinks are dead). 
cxiii. 6. 01 bird, of flowre, or shape which it doth 
lackj. (for latch). 



CXL. I ^ 

cxLIv^ 2. 

cxxvii. 9. Therefore my Mistcrsse eyesore Rauen blackc : Misprints. 

(For Mistresses brews). 
cxxix. 9. Made In pursiit and in possession so : (for 
7)1 ad itt pursuit). 
10- 1 1. Had, hailing, and in quest, to hauc extreamc 
A blisse in proof e and proud and very wo : 
(for proved a). 
cxxxii. 2. Knowmg thy lieart torment me with disdaine : 
(for torments). 
9. As those two morniftg eyes become thy face : 
(for 7nournin^). 
Tliat I may not be so, nor thou be lyde : (for 

Which like two spirits do sugiest me still : 
(for suggest). 
6. Tempteth my better angel from my sigl)t\ (for 
CLii. 13. For I haue sworne thee faire : more periurde 
eye: (for 1). 
CLiii. 14. Where Cupid got new fire; my mistres eye\ 
(for eyes rhyming with lies). 
The discrepancies in spelling may not exceed ordinary Confusion 
limits, but they confirm the impression that the compositors "^ ^^^ "^^' 
followed an unintelligent transcript. ' Scythe ' appears as 
<sieth' (Xir. 13 and C. 14), and as 'syeth ' (CXXIII. 14); 
'Minutes' appears as <mynuits' (XIV. s ^nd LXXVII. 2), 
as < mynuit ' (CXXVI. 8), and as < minuites ' (LX. 2) ; < False ' 
appears as 'false' (XX. 4, f), as 'faulse' (LXVIII. 14), and 
as 'falce' (LXXII. 9, XCII. 14, XCIII. 7). More than forty 
other orthographical peculiarities of like significance, i*zvf of 
which are distinguishable from misprints, are : — ' accumilate ' 
for 'accumulate' (CXVII. 10); 'a fioate ' for ' afloate ' 

F 2 


(LXXX. 9); ^alaied' for 'allayed' (LVI. 3)^ 'are' (in 
<thou are') for 'art' (LXX. i); 'Asconce' for 'Askance' 
(CX. 6); 'Alcumie' for 'alchemy' (CXIV. 4); 'bale' for 
'bail' (CXXXIII. 10); ' bcare ' for 'bier ' (XII. 8); 'binne' 
for ' been '(CX VII. ;); 'boiire' for 'bower' (CXXVII. 7); 
' coopelment ' for ' couplement ' (XXI. 5-) ; ' Croe ' for ' crow ' 
(CXIII. 12); ' cry ttick' for 'critic '(CXI I. 11); ' culler ' for 
'colour' (XCIX. 14); 'Currall' for 'Coral' (CXXX. 2); 
' deceaued ' for ' deceived ' (CIV. 12);' denide ' for ' denied ' 
(CXLII. 14) j 'dome' for 'doom' (CXLV. 7); 'Eaues'for 
' Eves ', i. e. ' Eve's ' (XCIII. 13);* ethers ' for ' cithers ', i. e. 
'cither's' (XXVIII. f) ; < fild ' for 'filled' (LXIII. 3 and 
LXXX VI. 13);^ foles ' for ' fools ' (CXXIV. 13);' grin'de ' 
for ' grind ' (CX. 10) ; ' grose ' for ' gross ' (CLI. 6) ; ' higth ' 
for ' height ' (CXVI. 8) ; ' Himne ' for ' hymn ' (LXXXV. 7) ; 
< hower ' for ' hour ' (CXXVI. 2) ; ' hunny ' for ' honey ' 
(LXV. 5-); *!' for ^Ay' (CXXXVI. 6); 'iealious' for 'jealous' 
(LVII. 9) J < inhearce ' for ' inhearse ' (LXXX VI. 3) ; < mar- 
ierom ' for ' marjoram ' (XCIX. 7) ; ' naigh ' for ' neigh ' (LI. 
11); ' nere ' for ' ne'er ', i. e. ' never ' (CXVIII. f) ; * of for 
'off' (LXL 14); 'pertake' for 'partake' (CXLIX. 2); 
'pibled' for 'pebbled' (LX. i); 'pray' for 'prey' 
(LXXIV. 10); 'randon' for 'random' (CXLVII. 12); 
' renu'de ' for 'renewed' (CXI. 8); 'sawsie' for 'saucy' 
(LXXX. 7); ^ shall' for 'shalt' (LXXXVIII. 8); 'thether' 
for 'thither' (CLIII. i2)j ' vnstayined ' for 'unstained' 
(LXX. 8); 'woes' for ' woos ' (XLI. 7); ' yawes ' for 
'jaws' (XIX. 3); 'y'haue' for 'you have' (CXX. d) ; 
'Yf for 'If (CXXIV. i). 
* Their 'for The Substitution, fifteen times, of t/mr for thy or thwey 

** y • and once of there for thee^ even more forcibly illustrates the 

want of intelligeiit apprehension of the subject-matter of the 


poems on the part of those who saw the vokime through the 
press. Vcw works are more dependent for their due compre- 
hension on the correct reproduction of the possessi\'e pro- 
nouns, and the frequent recurrence of this form of error is 
very damaging to tlie reputation of the text. 

The following is a list of these puz/ling confusions : — 
XXVI. 12. To show me worthy of their sweet respect: 

(for tby). ^ 
XXVII. ro. Presents their shaddoc to my sightles view: 
(for thy). 
XXXI. 8. But thin2.s remou'd that hidden in there lie: 

(for thee). 
XXXV. 8. Excusing their sins more then their sins are : 
(for thy and thy). 
XXXV II. 7. Intitled in their parts, do crov/ned sit : (for 

xLiii. II. When in dead night their faire imperfect 

shade : (for thy). 
XLV. 12. Of their faire health, recountinp; it to me: 

(for thy). 
xLvi. 3. Mine eye, my heart their pictures sight would 

barre : (for thy). 
8 . And sayes in him their faire appearance lyes : 

(for thy).^ 

13. As thus, mine eyes due is their outward part: 

(for thine). 

14. And my hearts right, their inward loue of 

heart : (for thine). 
Lxix. f. Their outward thus with outward praise is 

crownd : (for Thy). 
Lxx. 6. Their worth the greater beeing woo'd of 
time : (for Thy). 

' To ' for 

' too '. 

' Were * and 
' wear *. 

neous errors. 






LXI. 14. 

LXXIV. 12. 



Ore whome their fingers walke with gentle 

gate : (for thy). 
Giue them their fingers, me tliy lips to kisse : 
(for thy). 
The like want of care, altlioiigh of smaller moment, is 
apparent in the frequent substitution of the preposition to for 
the adverbial too : — 

Thine owne sweet argument, to excellent. 
From me farre of, with others all to neere. 
To base of thee to be remembred. 
How farre a moderne quill dotli come to 

Bound for the prize of (all to precious) you. 
The reverse mistake appears in — 
cxxxv. 2. And Will too boote : (for to boot). 
At least thrice were is confused with wear : — 
Lxxvii. I. Thy glasse will shew thee how thy beauties 
were : (for wear). 
xcviii. II. They weare but sweet, but figures of delight : 
(for were). 
cxL. f. If I might teach thee witte better it weare: 

(for were). 
The following proofs of carelessness admit of no classifi- 
cation, but give additional proof of the want of discrimination 
on the part of those who have credited the volume with 
exceptional typographical accuracy.' 

' There are some trifling discrepancies between various copies of the 
edition which illustrate the common practice among Elizabethan printers of 
binding up an uncorrected sheet, after the sheet has been corrected, and after 
other copies have been made up with the corrected version. The « Ellesmere ' 
copy has, in LXXVIII. 6, the unique misreading— /^^ (for /;>) — which is cor- 
rected in other copies. As in the British Museum copy, it has, too, at F^ (recto) 
the wrong catchword T/:e for SfeaJse, which is set right in the Bodleian copy. 


There was an obvious error in the ' copy ' of the first two 
lines o^ Sonnet CXLVI. i, 2 : — 

Poore soule the center of my sin full earthy 

My sinfull earth these rebbell powres that thee array. 

The repetition of the tliree last words of line i at the 
beginning of line 2 makes the sense and metre hopeless. 

Sonnet Qy^y\ is wrongly headed 119. 

The first word of Sonnet CXXII, Thy^ appears as TThy. 
The initial * W of Sonnet LXXIX is from a wrong fount. 
The catchwords are given more correctly in some copies 
than in others, but nine errors are found in all. At C3 
(recto) To appears instead of Thou ; at C4 (verso) Et email 
for Eternal'^ at E (recto) Crawls for Crawles-^ at D2 (recto), 
E3 (recto), F (verso), G2 (verso), H3 (verso), and I2 (recto), 
Mine^ That^ I grant ^ Wheriy My^ and Loue appear instead of 
the numerals 4^, 70, 82, io5, 130, and 142, which are the 
headings respectively of the next pages (the numeral is 
given correctly in like circumstances in seven other places). 

The appearance of two pairs of brackets, one above the 
other, enclosing blank spaces, at the end of Sonnet CXXVI 
is a curious irregularity, due probably for once to the printer's 
scruples, albeit mistaken. The poem is not a regular sonnet : 
it consists of six riming couplets — twelve lines in all. But it 
is complete in itself, and it is not uncommon to find poems 
of the same kind and length inserted in sonnet-sequences of 
the day. The printer, however, imagined that it was a sonnet 
with the thirteenth and fourteenth lines missing, and for these 
he clumsily left a vacant space which he \'aguely expected to 
fill in subsequently.' 

* The suggestion that the printer intended the empty brackets to denote 
the close of the first section of the sonnets, most of which were addressed to 
a man, and the opening of a second section, most of which were addressed 




ineguiari- Punctuatioii shows, Oil the whole, no more systematic 

"^^ °/ .• ^ ^^^^ ^^^^^"^ other features of composition. Commas are fre- 
quent, both in and out of place. At times they stand for 
a full stop. At times they are puzzlingiy replaced by a colon 
or semicolon, or again they are omitted altogether. Brackets 
are occasionally used as a substitute for commas, but not 
regularly enough to justify a belief that they were introduced 
on a systematic plan.' 
Capitals and Considerable irregularity characterizes the use of capital 

letters within the line or of italic type. Both appear rarely 
and at the compositor's v/him. It was the natural tendency to 
italicize unfamiliar or foreign words and names and to give them 
an initial capital in addition. But the printer of the sonnets 
usually went his own way without heed of law or custom." 

to a woman, is unsupported by authority or by the precise position of the 
brackets. They are directly attached to tlie single sonnet (CXXVI), and 
point to some imagined hiatus within its limits. 

* Brackets, in the absence of commas, are helpful in such lines as these: 

Whilst I (my soueraine) watch the clock for you lvii. 6. 

Oh let mc suffer (being at your beck) Lviii. 5-. 

O if (I say) you looke vpon this verse Lxxi. p. 

When I fperhaps) compounded am with clay 10. 

Or (being wrackt) I am a worthlesse bote lxxx. ii. 

Brackets are wrongly introduced in lines like : — 

But since your worth (wide as the Ocean is) lxxx. 5*. 

Bound for the prize of (all to precious) you, lxxxvi. ^. 

The absence of all punctuation within the line in such lines as these is very 
perplexing : — 

Which vsed Hues th' executor to be. iv. i^. 

Sings this to thee thou single wilt proue none. viii. i^. 

In several places a mark of interrogation takes the place of one of ex- 
clamation with most awkward effect. 

= *Rose' is used twelve times: it is italicized once (I. z) j the names of 
other flowers are not italicized at all (cf. XXV. 6, XCIV. 14, XCVIII. t), 
XCIX. 6). 'Alchemy' (alcumic) is used twice : it is once italicized (CXIV. 4) 
and once not (XXXIII. 4). ' Audite' is used thrice, and is twice italicized. 
'Autumn' appears twice, and is once italicized : 'spring', 'summer', and 
'winter' are never thus distinguished. The following are the other italicized 
words in the sonnets: Al?isme (CXIl. (>) j Adonis (LIII. 5:) j Al'mi (LXXVIII. 3); 


To Thorpe's <copy' of the sonnets was appended a poem ^ Lwtrs 
which had no concern with them. It consisted of 329 lines ^'""^'""'• 
in the seven-line stanza of Lucrece^ and was entitled ' A Lovers 
Complaint. By William Shake-speare.' The piece is a poetic 
lament by a maiden for her betrayal by a deceitful lover. 
The title constantly recurs in Elizabethan poetry.' The 
tone throughout is conventional. The language is strained, 
and the far-fetched imagery exaggerates the worst defects of 
Shakespeare's Lucrece. Such metaphors as the following are 
frequent : — 

Sometimes her levell'd eyes their carriage ride, 

As they did battery to the spheres intend. (11. 22-3.) 

This said, his watery eyes he did dismount. 

Whose sights till then were levell'd on my face. (11. 281-2.) 

A very large number of words which are employed in the 
poem are found nowhere else in Shakespeare's work. Some 
of these seem invented for the occasion to cover incapacity of 
expression."" The attribution of the poem to Shakespeare may 

Cupid (Chill. I and 14); Dyans (CLIII. 2); Eaues [XClll. 13); Grecian 
(LIU. 8) ; Hellens (LIII. 7] ; Herhkke (CXXIV. 5?) ; Heivs (XX. 7) ; Informer 
(CXXV. 13); Intrim (LVI. 5?); Mars (LV. 7); Vhilomell (CII. 7); ^etm 
(CXXVI. la); Satire (C. Ii); Saturne (XCVIII. 4.); Statues (LV. f ) j 
Syren (CXIX. l) ; Will {CXXXV. I, 1, II, 12, 14, j CXXXVI. 2, f, 14.; 
CXLIII. 13). In A Lover's Complaint only a single word throughout is itali- 
cized — Alices^ in 1. 273. The following words of like class to those italicized 
in the sonnets lack that mark of distinction: Orient (VII. i); Phsnix (XIX. 4.); 
xMuse (XXXII. 10 et al. loc); Ocean (LXIV. 5); Epitaph (LXXXI. i); 
Rhethorick (LXXXII. 10); Charter (LXXXVII. 3); cryttick (CXII. 11); 
cherubines (CXIV. 6) ; Phisitions (CXL. 8). 

^ Two poems called ' A Lovers Complaint ' figure in Breton's Arhor 
of Amorous Devises (15" 97). 

^ The following are some of the once-used words in A Lover's Complaint: 
'Acture' (1. 185); 'annexions' (io8) ; 'bat' [i.e. stick] (6'4); 'credent' 
(279); ' encrlmson'd' (201); ' ender ' (222); ' enpatron ' (224.); 'enswathed' 
(49); « extincture ' (254.) ; ' fluxive' (^o); ' impleach'd ' (205) ; 'inundation' 
(2c)o); ' invised' (212) J 'laundering' (17) ; 'lover'd' (320) • 'maund'(3d); 
'pensived' (119); 'phraseless' (115); 'plenitude' (302) j ' sawn '[= seen] 
(511) J ' sheaved ' hat (31)5 ' termless ' (94.). 



well be disputed. It was probably a literary exercise on a very 
common theme by some second-rate poet, which was circu- 
lating like the sonnets in written copies, and was assigned to 
Shakespeare by an enterprising transcriber. The reference to — 

Deep-brained sonnets, that did amplify 

Each stone's dear nature, worth, and quality, 

(11. 209-10.) 

combines with the far-fetched conceits to suggest that the 
writer drew much of his inspiration from that vast sonnet 
literature, which both in France and England abounded in 
affected allusions to precious gems.' The typography of the 
poem has much the same defects as the sonnets. Among the 
confusing misprints are the following : — * a sacred Sunne ' for 
^nun' (2(^0) j ^Or cleft effect' for «0' (293); 'all straiug 
formes ' for * strange ' (303) 5 * sounding palenesse ' for <s wound- 
ing ' or ' swooning ' ( 3 oj) 5 * sound'' for * swound ' or ' swoon ' 


^ Ronsard, and all the poets of the Pleiade, were very generous in their 
comparison of their mistress* charms to precious stones. The practice, which 
was freely imitated by Elizabethan sonneteers, received its most conspicuous 
illustration in the work of Remy Belleau, in his "Les Amovrs et novveavx 
eschanges des pierres precievses^ vertvs et proprletez. d'lcelleSj which was first pub- 
lished at Paris in 1576^, and figuratively describes, with amorous application, the 
amethyst, the diamond, the loadstone, the ruby, onyx, opal, emerald, turquoise, 
and many other precious stones. Shakespeare proves his acquaintance with 
poems of the kind, when he refers in his sonnets to the sonneteers' habit of 

Making a couplement of proud compare. 

With sun and moon, with earth and sea's rkh gems. 

{Sonnet XXI.) 

In Sonnet CXXX he again derides the common convention : — 

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; 
Coral is far more red than her lips' red. 


Thorpe's edition of the Sonnets does not seem to have Reception of 
been received by the public witli enthusiasm. Edward AUeyn, volume/ 
the actor, purchased a copy of the book for fivepence, in 
June, i5o9, within a month of its publication.' Another 
copy, in the John Rylands Library (No. VI, below), was 
clearly purchased at the same price for a gift-book, near 
the same date. Yet a third extant copy (No. VII, below) 
bears indication that it was acquired in very early days by 
Milton's patron, the Earl of Bridgewater. But there is no 
sign that Shakespeare's sonnets were widely read. A single 
edition answered the demand. The copyright proved of no 
marketable value. Thorpe retained it till he disappeared in 
1(^2 5*, and then no one was found to take it off his hands. 

Contemporary references to Shakespeare's sonnets in the 
printed literature of the day are rare. The poet, Drummond 
of Hawthornden, seems to have studied them, though he failed 
to note the purchase of Thorpe's volume in the list which he 
prepared of the English books bought by him up to the year 
161^, Many reminiscences of Shakespeare's sonnets figure in 
Drummond's early sonnets and poems, which were first col- 
lected in I ^ 1 6. He borrowed, too, some lines from A Lover"* s 
CompIaintyW\\ic\iv/^s appended to Thorpe's edition of the Sonnets^' 

' Warner's Dul-wich Manuscript s^ p. gz. 

' Cf. Drummond's Poems^ pt. ii. Sonnet xi, and impression, Edinb. 1616 : 

dearc Napkin doe not grieve 

That I this Tribute pay thee from mine Eine^ 

And that (these posting Houres I am to live) 

I laundre thy faire Figures in this Brine. 

A Lover's Complaint (if-iS) : 

Oft did she heave her Napkin to her eyne^ 
Which on it had conceited characters, 
Laundring the silken figures in the Brine 
That seasoned woe had pelleted in teares. 

G 2 



of the 
sonnets in 

The eighth 
sonnet in 

Some twenty years later, Shakespeare's earnest admirer and imi- 
tator, Sir John Suckling, literally reproduced many expressions 
from Shakespeare's sonnets, in his Tragedy of Brennoralt^ 

There seems little doubt that Shakespeare's sonnets 
continued to circulate in manuscript as separate poems, 
with distinct headings, after, no less than before, Thorpe's 
publication of the collection. Many copies of detached 
sonnets appear in extant manuscript albums, or in common- 
place books of the early years of the seventeenth century. 
The textual variations from Thorpe's edition indicate 
that these transcripts were derived from a version still 
circulating in manuscript, which was distinct from that 
which Thorpe procured. In a manuscript commonplace 
book in the British Museum, which was apparently begun 

about the 

year idio. 

with the heading not 

there is a copy of Sonnet VIII ^, 
found anywhere else : < In laudem 

* Shakespeare's Sonnet XLVII : — 

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is tooke, 
And each doth good turnes now vnto the other, 
Whe7i that mine eye is famisht for a look^ 
Or heart in love with sighes himselfe doth smother ; 
With my loues picture then my eye doth feast, 
And to the painted banquet bids my heart, 

clearly suggested such a passage in Suckling's play (v. i8-aa) (cf. Vragmenta 
Aurea, 1 64.6', p. 44), as : — 

Iph\igene'\. Will you not send me neither. 

Your picture when y* are gone ? 

That 'when my eye is famisht for a looke^ 

It may have where to feed, 

And to the painted Feast invite my heart. 

^ Cf. Add. MS. i5,2x(), f. 4. b. This volume contains many diiFerent 
handwritings belonging to various periods of the seventeenth century. It 
opens with a poem which does not seem to have been printed, entitled 
Raivleighs Caueat to Secure Courtiers^ beginning, ' I speak to such if anie such 
there be.' Towards the end of the volume is a copy of a tract on the Plague 
of London of 16^6^5', and, in a far earlier hand, copies of Hey wood's transla- 
tion of the two Epistles of Ovid, which appear in The Fassionate Pi/grim of 


musice et opprobrium contcmptorij (sic) eiusdem.' There is no 
sign that the poem was recognized as forming part of any 
long sequence of sonnets. The variant readings are not 
important, but they are numerous enough, combined v/ith 
differences in spelling, punctuation, and the use of capital 
letters, to prove that the copyist did not depend on Thorpe's 
text. In the manuscript the two quatrains and the con- 
cluding sixain are numbered ' i ', ' 2 ', and ' 3 ' respectively. 
The last six lines appear in the manuscript thus : — 

Marke howe one stringe, sv/ect husband to another 
Strikes each on each, by mutuall orderinge 
Resemblinge Childe^ and Syer^ and happy Mother 
v/.^'* all in one, this single note dothe singe 

whose speechles songe beeinge many seeming one 
Sings this to thee^ Thou single^ shall prone mne. 

W : Shakspeare 
In Thorpe's edition these lines run thus : — 

Marke how one string sweet husband to an other. 

Strikes each in each by mutuall ordering; 

Resembling' sier^ and child^ and happy mother, 

Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing : 

Whose speechlesse song being many, seeming one, 
Sings this to thee thou single wilt prone none. 

The superior punctuation of the last line of the manuscript is 


In like manner. Sonnets LXXI and XXXII, which, closely Sonmts 

connected in subject, meditate on the likelihood that the poet xxxii. 

v/ill die before his friend, appear as independent poems in 

a manuscript commonplace book of poetry apparently kept 

by an Oxford student about i<^33.' 

* This MS., formerly belonging to Mr. J. O. Halliwell-PhilJipps, is now 
in the library of Mr. Marsden J. Perry, of Providence, U.S.A. Mr. Winship, 


The edition No less than thirty-one years elapsed before a second 

of 1^40. publisher repeated Thorpe's experiment. In 1^40, John 
Benson, a publisher of St. Dunstan's Churchyard, Fleet 
Street, where Jaggard's memory still lingered, brought out 
a volume called ' Poems written by Wil. Shakespeare Gent.' 
It is a miscellaneous collection of verse by several hands, 

of Providence, has kindly sent me a transcript. The text of the two sonnets 
only differs from Thorpe's edition in points of spelling and in the substitution 
of 'me' for 'you' in LXXf. 8, and of Moue' for 'birth' in XXXII. 11. 
Thorpe's readings are the better. In a volume of MS. poetry now belonging 
to Mr. Bertram, of London, the well-known critic and bookseller, and dating 
about 16^30, Sonnet II appears as a separate poem with a distinct title, which 
is not met with elsewhere. The textual variations from Thorpe's text induce 
Mr. Dobcll to regard it as a transcript of a copy which was not accessible to 
Thorpe. Most of the poems in Mr. Dobell's manuscript volume bear their 
writers' names. But this sonnet is unsigned, and the copyist was in apparent 
ignorance that it was Shakespeare's work. In another similar MS. collection 
of poetry, which belonged to Mr. Dobell, and is now the property of an 
American collector, there figured several fragmentary excerpts from Shake- 
speare's sonnets in an order which is found nowhere else. The handwriting 
is of the early part of the seventeenth century, and shows slight variations in 
point of words, spelling, and punctuation from the printed text. In two 
instances distinct titles are given to the poems. One of these transcripts, 
headed ' Cruel ', runs thus : — 

Thou, Contracted to thine owne bright eys, 
Feedst thy light flame with selfe substantial fewell, 
Makeing a famine, where aboundance lies. 
Thy selfe thy foe to thy sweet selfe too cruell. 
Thou that art now the worlds fresh ornament, 
And onely herauld to ye Gaudy spring. 
Within thine owne Bud Buriest thy Contend, 
And tender Churle makes wast in niggarding. 
Pitty ye world or Els this Glutton bee 
To Eat ye worlds due by ye world & thee. 
When forty winters shall besiege thy brow 
And Dig deep tranches in thy beautyes field. 
Thy youths Proud liuery so gazd on now 
Wil be A totterd weed of small worth held. 
The Canker bloomcs haue ful as deepe a dy 
As ye Perfumed tincture of ye roses. 

The first ten lines correspond with Sonnet I. 5r-i4., the next four with Sonnet II. 
1-4, and the last two with Sonnet LIV. ')-6, 


but its main contents are 145 of Shakespeare's sonnets inter- 
spersed with all the poems of Jaggard's Passionate Pilgrim 
in the third edition of id 12, and further pieces by Heywood 
and others. A short appendix presents ' an addition of some 
excellent poems ... by other gentlemen' which are all 
avowedly the composition of other pens. 

There is no notice in the Stationers' Register of the 
formal assignment of the copyright of either Shakespeare's 
Sonnets or Jaggard's Passionate Pi/grim to Benson. But Benson 
duly obtained a licence on November 4, 1(^39, for the publi- 
cation of the appendix to his volume. The following entry 
appears in the Stationers' Company's Register under that 
date ; — 

Entred [to John Benson] for his Copie under the hands 
of doctor Wykes and Master fFetherston warden An Addicion 
of some excellent Poems to Shakespeares Poems by other gentle- 
men. vi7^. His mistris drawne. and her mind by Beniamin 
Johnson. An Epistle to Beniamin Johnson by Ffrancis Beau- 
mont. I His Mistris shade by R. Herrick. etc. vj''.' 

The volume came from the press of Thomas Cotes, the 
printer who was at the moment the most experienced of any 
in the trade in the production of Shakespearean literature. 
Cotes had bought in 1^27 and 1610 the large interests in 
Shakespeare's plays which had belonged respectively to Isaac 
Jaggard and Thomas Pavier. He printed the Second Folio 
of 1(^3 2 and a new edition of Pericles in 1(^35-. The device 
which figured on the title-page of his edition of Pericles, as 
well as on that of Pavier s edition of that play in idip, 
reappeared on Benson's edition of the Poems in 1 540. 

But, closely associated as the Poems of 1(^40 were. The source 
through the printer Cotes, with the current reissues of°^^^"^°"^ 

» Arber, iv. 46^1. 


Shakespeare's works, it may be doubted whether Benson 
depended on Thorpe's printed vohime in his confused im- 
pression of the sonnets.' The word ' sonnets ', which loomed 
so large in Thorpe's edition, finds no place in Benson's. In 
the title-pages, in the head-lines, and in the publisher's 
< Advertisement ', Benson calls the contents < poems ' or 
* lines'. He avows no knowledge of ' Shakespeares Sonnets '. 
Thorpe's dedication to Mr. W. H. is ignored. The order in 
which Thorpe printed the sonnets is disregarded. Benson 
presents his ' poems ' in a wholly different sequence, and 
denies them unity of meaning. He offers them to his readers 
as a series of detached compositions. At times he runs more 
than one together, v/ithout break. But on each detachment 
he bestows an independent descriptive heading. The varia- 
tions from Thorpe's text, though not for the most part 
of great importance, are numerous. 

The separate titles given by Benson to the detached 
sonnets represent all the poems save three or four to be 
addressed to a woman. For example, that which Thorpe 
numbered CXXII is entitled by Benson, < Vpon the receit 
of a Table Booke from his Mistris^ and that which Thorpe 
numbered CXXV is headed, ' An intreatie for her acceptance.' 
A word of the text is occasionally changed in order to bring 
it into accord with the difference of sex. In Sonnet CIV. i, 
Benson reads ^ faire love ' instead of Thorpe's < faire friend ', 
and in CVIII. f, < sweet love' for Thorpe's « sweet boy'. 

' Benson's preface ' To the Reader ' is not very clearly phrased, but he 
gives no indication that the poems, which he now offers his public, were 
reprinted from any existing publication. His opening words run : — 

' I here presume (under favour) to present to your view, some excellent 
and sweetely composed Poems, of Master William Shakespeare, Which in 
themselves appeare of the same purity, [as those which] the Authour himselfe 
then living avouched • they had not the fortune by reason of their Infancie in 
his death, to have the due accomodatio of proportionable glory, with the rest 


But it is surprising how rare is any alteration of this kind 
necessary in order to adapt the sonnets to a woman's fascina- 
tions. Sonnet XX, which is unmistakably addressed to a man, 
is headed <■ The Exchange ', and Sonnet X X VI, which begins 

< Lord of my love ', is headed ' A dutiful message '. But 
such other headings as, «In Prayse of his Love,' <An address 
to his scornefuU Loue,' 'Complaint for his Loues absence,' 

< Self-flattery of her beauty,' &c., which are all attached to 
sonnets in what is known as the first section of Thorpe's 
volume, present no inherent difficulty to the reader's mind. 
The superscriptions make it clear that Benson did not dis- 
tinguish the sonnets from amatory poems of a normal type. 

Benson's text seems based on some amateur collection 
of pieces of manuscript poetry, which had been in private 
circulation. His preface implies that the sonnets and poems 
in his collection were not among those which he knew Shake- 
speare to have 'avouched' (i. e. publicly acknowledged) in his 
lifetime. By way of explaining their long submergence, he 
hazards a guess that they were penned very late in the 
dramatist's life. John Warren, who contributes new com- 
mendatory lines (< Of Mr. William Shakespear ') for Benson's 
edition, writes of the sonnets as if the reader was about to 
make their acquaintance for the first time.' He says of them 
that they 

Will make the learned still admire to see 
The Muses' gifts so fully infused on thee. 

of his everliving Workes.' ' Overliving'— the epithet which Thorpe applied to 
Shakespeare — was in too common use as a synonym for ' immortal ' to make 
it needful to assume that Benson borrowed it from Thorpe (cf. Shakespeare, 
/ Henry Vl^ iv. 3. 5-1, ' That ever-livhig man of memorie Henry the Fifth '). 

' The other piece of commendatory verse by Leonard Diggcs confines 
itself to an enthusiastic account of Shakespeare's continued hold on the stage, 
and to the playgoer's preference of his work over that of Ben Jonson. 



century edi- 
tions of the 

The theory that the publisher Benson sought his copy 
elsewhere than in Thorpe's treasury is supported by other 
considerations. Sonnets CXXXVIII and CXLIV, which take 
the thirty-first and thirty-second places respectively in Benson's 
volume, ignore Thorpe's text, and follow that of Jaggard's 
Passionate Pilgrim (if 9 9 or l6l^). The omission of eight 
sonnets tells the same tale. Among these are one of the 
most beautiful, < Shall I compare thee to a summer's day } ' 
No. XVIII, and the twelve-lined lyric numbered CXXVI, 
which some critics have interpreted as intended by Shakespeare 
to form the envoy to the sonnets addressed to the man. It is 
difficult to account for the exclusion of these two poems, and 
six others (Nos. XIX, XLIII, LVI, LXXV, LXXVI, and 
XCVI), except on the assumption that Benson's compiler had 
not discovered them. 

Whatever may have been the source of Benson's text, his 
edition of them, although it was not reprinted till 1710, prac- 
tically superseded Thorpe's effort for more than a hundred 
years.' The sonnets were ignored altogether in the great 
editions of Shakespeare which appeared in the early years 
of the eighteenth century. Neither Nicholas Rowe, nor 
Pope, nor Theobald, nor Hanmer, nor Warburton, nor 
Capell, nor Dr. Johnson, included them in their respective 
collections of Shakespeare's plays. None of these editors, 
save Capell, showed any sign of acquaintance with them. 
In collections of * Shakespeare's Poems ' forming supplemen- 
tary volumes to Rowe's and Pope's edition of the plays, 

^ In i()y4- there was issued a catalogue of books '^ printed for Humphrey 
Moseley and are to be sold at his Shop at the Prince's Armes in St. Pauleys 
Churchyard'. Among the books noticed is 'Poems written by Mr. William 
Shakespeare Gent.' The entry suggests that Moseley caused to be printed 
and published a new issue of Shakespeare's poem?, but there is no trace of 
any such edition. 


which came out under independent editorship in the years 
17 1 Q and i72f respectively, and were undertaken by inde- 
pendent publishers, the whole of Benson's volume of 1^40 
was reprinted j the sonnets were not separated from the 
chaff that lay about them there.' The volumes which were 
issued in the middle of the century under such titles as 

< Poems on several occasions, by Shakespeare' (175-0?) or 

< Poems. Written by Mr. William Shakespeare' (177;), again 
merely reproduce Benson's work. 

Only one publisher in the early years of the century Limott's 
showed any acquaintance with Thorpe's version. In 1710 ^15*""^° 
Bernard Lintott included an exact reprint of it in the edition, 
second volume of his <A Collection of Poems (by Shake- ^^°' 
speare) '. But no special authority attached to Lintott's 
reprint in the critical opinion of the day, and even Lintott 
betrayed the influence of Benson's venture by announcing 
on his title-page that 'Shakespeare's one hundred and fifty- 
four Sonnets ' were * all hi praise of bis mistress '. 

It was not until 1766 that the critical study of Steevens' 
Shakespeare's sonnets can be said to have begun. In that JtfJ^"^' 
year Steevens included an exact reprint, of his copy of 
Thorpe's edition of 160^ (with the Wright imprint), in the 
fourth volume of his * Twenty of the Plays of Shake- 
speare, Being the whole Number printed in Quarto During 
his Life-time, or before the Restoration, Collated where 
there were different Copies and Publish'd from the Origi- 
nals '. The only comment that Steevens there made on the 

' Charles Gildon, the editor of the supplementary volume of 17 10, whose 
work was freely appropriated by Dr. Sewell, the editor oF the supplementary 
volume of 17x5", denied that any of Shakespeare's poems were sent to press 
before 1^40, and refuted doubts of their authenticity on internal evidence only. 
Of the sonnets or 'Epigrams', as he .calls them, he remarks: 'There is 
a wonderful smoothness in many of them that makes the Blood dance to its 
numbers' (p. '\-6i). 

H 2 


sonnets was that ' the consideration ' that they made their 
appearance with Shakespeare's name, and in his lifetime, 
* seemed to be no slender proof of their authenticity '. Of 
their literary vakie, Steevens announced shortly afterwards 
a very low opinion. He excluded them from his revision 
of Johnson's edition of the plays which came out in 
Maione's Malonc ptoduccd the first critical edition of the sonnets 

cdkion"^^^ in 1780, in his 'Supplement to the Edition of Shakespeare's 
1780. Plays published in 1778', vol. i. This revision of Thorpe's 

text proved of the highest value. Steevens supplied some 
notes and criticisms, and in the annotations on Somiet 
CXXVII, Malone and he engaged in a warm controversy, 
which occupied nearly six pages of small type, regarding 
the general value of Shakespeare's sonnets. A year before 
Steevens borrowed of Malone a volume containing first editions 
of the So?mets and Lucrece. On returning it to its owner, 
he pasted on a blank leaf a rough sketch in which Shake- 
speare is seen to be addressing William Atkinson, Maione's 
medical attendant, in these words : — 

If thou couldst. Doctor, cast 
The water of my sonnets, find their disease. 
Or purge my editor, till he understood them, 
I would applaud thee, &c.' 

Steevens now insisted that < quaintness obscurity and 
tautology ' were inherent * in this exotik species of com- 

' The volume containing this drawing is in the Malone collection in the 
Bodleian Library (Mai. 34). It contains the following note in Maione's hand- 
writing : — 'Mr. Steevens bonowed this volume from me in 1779 to peruse The 
Rape of Lucrece in the original edition, of which he was not possessed. When 
he returned it, he made this drawing. I was then confined by a sore throat, 
and was attended by Mr. Atkinson, the Apothecary, of whom the above figure, 
whom Shakespeare addresses, is a caricature. — E. M.' 


position '. Malonc, in reply, confessed no enthusiasm for 
Shakespeare's sonnets, but claimed for their < beautiful lines ' 
a rare capacity for illustrating the language of the plays. 
He agreed that their ardent expressions of esteem could 
alone, with propriety, be addressed to a woman. 

About the same date, Capell, who gave Malone some 
assistance, carefully revised in manuscript Thorpe's text, 
as it appeared in Lintott's edition of 1710. But his 
revised text remains unpid")lished in the library of Trinity 
College, Cambridge. Steevens was to the end irreconcilable, 
and in an Advertisement prefixed to his last edition of Shake- 
speare, 1793, he justified his continued exclusion of the sonnets 
from Shakespeare's works on the ground that the < strongest 
Act of Parliament that could be framed would fail to compel 
readers into their service '.' The sonnets figured in Thorpe's 
text, revised by Malone, in the latter's edition of Shakespeare's 
works of 1790, in the Variorum of 1803, and in all the 
leading editions of Shakespeare's works that have been 
published since. 

The reasoned and erudite appreciation, which distin- Nincteenth- 
guished eighteenth-century criticism of Shakespearean drama, ^ri 
gives historic interest to its perverse depreciations or grudging 
commendations of the Sonnets. Not till the nineteenth 
century was reached, did the tones of apology or denunciation 
cease. Nineteenth-century critics of eminence with a single 
exception soon reached a common understanding in regard 
to the transcendent merit of the poetry. Hazlitt, alone of 

* Steevens added : ' These miscellaneous poems have derived every 
possible advantage from the literature and judgement of their only intelligent 
editor, Mr. Malone, whose implements of criticism, like the ivory rake and 
golden spade in Prudentius, are on this occasion disgraced by the objects of 
their culture. Had Shakespeare produced no other works than these, his name 
would have reached us with as little celebrity as time has conferred on that of 
Thomas Watson, an older and much more elegant sonneteer.' 



the great Shakespearean critics of the past century, declined 
to commit himself without damaging reserves to the strain 
of eulogy. At the same time differences have continued to 
prevail as to the precise significance of the poems, even 
amongst those whose poetic insight entitle their opinion to 
the most respectful hearing. Coleridge and Robert Browning- 
refused to accept the autobiographic interpretation which 
commended itself to Wordsworth and Shelley. Great weight 
was attached to Hallam's censure of the literal theory: 'There 
is a weakness and folly in all excessive and misplaced affection, 
which is not redeemed by the touches of nobler sentiments 
that abound in this long series of sonnets.' The controversy 
is not yet ended. But the problem, in the present writer's 
opinion, involves in only a secondary degree vexed questions 
of psychology or aesthetics. The discussion must primarily 
resolve itself into an historical inquiry respecting the con- 
ditions and conventions which moulded the literary expression 
of sentiment and passion in Elizabethan England. 


Census of CoPiES of thc i6o^ cditiou of the Sonnets are now very 

copi 's. scarce. A somewhat wide study of sale catalogues of the past 

I yo years reveals the presence in the book market of barely 
a dozen during that period. Many years have passed since a 
copy was sold at public auction, and the only recent evidence of 
the selling value of the book is the fact that the copy No. IX, 
iiifra^ which was sold by public auction in 1864 for ^2 2 5- i js. o.'/., 
was acquired privately, a quarter of a century later, by a collector 
of New York for a thousand pounds. Of the eleven traceable 
copies which are enumerated below, one lacks the title-page, 



—M— n«»n»»iiK.i 

^'0 Xh^ ^. 


.;^I ^ 



^■jf^ »»»i 

-■tff'vrf^ I rrinjfl 


6. Eld tor T*C and am 

t<?be iotflc by.iW;^ filing 

•^x Qhuil C hi. • ,. ^ ^^.v*. .- 



and two have facsimile title-pages- of the remaining eight, 
three have the Aspley imprint and five the Wright imprint. 
Of the eleven copies, eight are in England, and three in 
private libraries in America. Of the British copies six are 
in public collections. The Earl of Ellesmere and Mr. Hiith 
seem to be the only private English owners.' 

The Edition The original edition of Shakespeare's Sojinets appeared 

OF 1609. yj'ix\i two title-pages varying in the name of the bookseller in 
Descnpnon. ^j^^ imprint. One issue ran : — 

SHAKE-SPEARES : SONNETS | Neuer before Im- 
printed. I AT LONDON | By G. Eld for T. T. and are | to be 
solde by William Aspley. \ 160^. 

The title-page of the other issue ran : — 

SHAKES-PEARES | SONNETS | Neuer before Im- 
printed. I AT LONDON | By G. Eld for T. T. and are | to be 
solde by lohn Wright^ dwelling | at Christ Church gate. ! 160^. 

The volume is printed in quarto, containing in all forty 
leaves. Signature A, consisting of two leaves only, contains 
the title-page and dedication. The text of the So/mets begins 
on signature B and ends on K recto. On K verso begins 
< A Louers complaint. | By | William Shake-speare ', and it ends 
with the close of the volume on L2 verso. Thus the signatures 
run : — A (two leaves), B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K in fours, and 
L (two leaves). There is no pagination j the leaves Ai, A 2, 
C4, D4, E4, F4, G4, H4, I4, are unsigned. 
No. I. Of the copies in the British ^Museum, that in the Grenville 


Museum. * It is impossible to determine whether the three copies mentioned in the 

following sale catalogues can be rightly identified with any of the eleven 
enumerated copies, or whether they had, and have, a separate existence : — 

I. A copy in the library of Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, which was 
sold by the bookseller Osborn, of Gray's Inn, in 174.x. 

a. A copy in the Duke of Marlborough's library at White Knights, sold in 

3. A copy in the collection of James Boswell the younger, which was sold 
in 1825- for ^38 ijs. od. 


collection (G. 11181), measuring d|" x 4I" and bound in red TheEdition 
morocco, is in fine condition. This has the Aspley imprint. ^^ '^°9- 
A few pages are stained. This is possibly the copy with ^[""^ 
Aspley imprint, priced at ^30 in Messrs. Longman's sale list, (CrenviUe) 
Bibliotheca Jnglo-Poetica^ 1 8 1 f, p. 301, which fetched £\o 19/. od. copy, 
at the sale of a portion of John Bellingham Inglis' library in 
June, \%^6. 

The second Museum copy (C. 21. c. 44), which measures No. 11. 
7-^" X f-/'-. has the title-page and last leaf in a dirty con- ?!'""'* 

.} ^. ,' ' 1 . . f o J Museum 

dition, but otherwise it is a good copy. Some pages are (Bright) 
mended. It is bound in yellow morocco. It was apparently copy. 
sold with the library of B. H. Bright in 1845- for ^34 ioj-. od. 
It has the Wright imprint. It was reproduced in Shakspere- 
Quarto Facsimiles, No. 3c, by Charles Praetorius in \%%6. 

Of the two copies in the Bodleian Library, the one which No. in. 
is reproduced here belongs to the Malone collection and is ?^'*^''^" 
bound up with the first edition of Lucrece. It has the Aspley copy°" 
imprint, and measures y^e' ^ ^'t?"? being inlaid on paper 
measuring pf" x 7f". Malone acquired the volume in April, 
1779) P^yii^g twenty guineas for the two quartos.' He lent 
the volume to Steevens in the same year. Malone subsequently 
inlaid and bound up the two tracts with quarto editions 
of Hamlet (ido?), of Lovers Labour "^s Lost (15-98), of Pericles 
[160^ and i<^i9), and A Torkshire Tragedy (ido8). The whole 
volume was labelled ' Shakespeare Old Quartos, Vol. III.' It is 
now numbered Malone 34. 

The second Bodleian copy was presented by Thomas No. I v. 
Caldecott, and is now numbered Malone %%6. The volume ?^^,j'^" 
is bound up with if 9 4 editions of Venus and Adojiis and copy. 
Lucrece^ which it follows. It has several manuscript notes in 
Caldecott's handwriting, chiefly dealing with misprints and 
illustrations from the plays. The copy has been cut down 
by the binder. It measures <5|" x 47^", and the date of 
the title-page, which bears Wright's name, has been cut off". 

A copy in the Capell collection at Trinity College, no. v» 

' The Earl of Charlemont's MSS., i. 343 (in Knt. Comm. MSS. Report), 





OF 1609. 


No. VI. 
The John 

No. VII. 
The Bridge- 
water House 

Cambridge, is defective, wanting eight leaves (A 1-2, Bi, 
K2-L2) including the title. The missing pages are supplied 
in manuscript by Capell, who transcribed a Wright title-page. 
The volume measures 7" x f". 

The John Rylands Library, in Manchester, contains 
a very fine copy which was acquired with Lord Spencer's 
Althorp collection, in 1892. It measures 7j'x-^'\ and has 
the Wright imprint. Earl Spencer purchased it in 1798, at 
the sale of Dr. Richard Farmer's library, for ^8. It is in 
excellent condition, and is bound by Roger Payne in green 
morocco. Two peculiarities give the copy exceptional interest. 
On the last page of the volume, below the ornament, is the 
following manuscript note, in a somewhat ornamental hand- 
writing of the early seventeenth century : — < Comendacons to 
my very kind & approued fFreind 23 : M : '. The numeral and 
capital at the end of the inscription may be the autograph of 
the donor in cipher, or may indicate the date of gift, Marcli 
or May 23. Nothing is known of the history of this inscrip- 
tion, and there is no internal or external evidence to associate 
it in any way with Shakespeare. The copy was clearly pre- 
sented by one friend to another about the date of publication. 
Another manuscript note in the volume is of more normal 
character. At the top of the title-page — to the left above the 
ornament — is the symbol < 5-^ ' written in the same hand as the 
inscription at the end. There is no doubt that this repre- 
sents the cost of the volume, and it is curious to note that 
Edward Alleyn records in his account-book for June, 1(^09, 
that he paid fivepence for a copy of Shakespeare's Sonnets. 
The suggestion based on this fact that the Spencer copy 
originally belonged to Alleyn seems hazardous.' 

An interesting history attaches to the copy in the library 
of the Earl of Ellesmere at Bridgewater House. Originally 
acquired by the second Earl of Bridgewater, it was sold by 

* Cf. Dibdin's Aedes Althorpianae, i. 194,. Mr. Guppy, the librarian of 
the John Rylands library, has kindly given me a very full description of this 
volume and careful tracings of the manuscript inscriptions. 


the last Duke of Bridgewater in 1802, apparently on the TheEdition 
erroneous assumption that he owned another copy. It was '^^ '^'=*9- 
then bought by George Chalmers for £1. At the sale of 
Chalmers' library, in 1842, it was repurchased for the library 
at Bridgewater House by the first Earl of Ellesmere, grand- 
father of the third Earl, the present owner, for jfioy. 
This copy was reproduced in photo-zincography, under the 
direction of Sir Henry James, in 1852. It has the Aspley 
title-page. It is in eighteenth-century binding. The measure- 
ments are 7-' x fl". 

The copy belonging to A. H. Huth has the Wright No. viil 
imprint. It was for many years in the Bentinck library '^^'^ ^"^'^ 
at Varel, near Oldenburg, and formed part of a volume of ^^^^' 
tracts which had been bound together in 1728. The volume 
was first noticed by Professor Tycho Mommsen in 18 ^-y, 
when the Bentinck library was dispersed by sale. It was 
purchased by Halliwell[-Phillipps], but was sold at a sale of his 
books in 185-8, when it was acquired by Henry Huth, father of 
the present owner, (through the bookseller Lilly) for £ij;^ 
7s. od. The copy is somewhat dirty, the top margins are cut 
close, and some of the print in the headlines is shaved.' 

O^ the copies in America, the most interesting belongs No. ix 
to Mr. E. Dwight Church of New York. It has the Wright JJ^^J^'^'^''' 
imprint, is bound in brown morocco by Charles Lewis, and copy 
measures 6~' x f . At the end of the seventeenth century it 
was purchased by Narcissus Luttrell for one shilling. It sub- 
sequently belonged to George Steevens, whose autograph it 
bears, and it was sold in 1800 at the sale of Steevens' library 
for ^3 19/. od. It was then acquired by the Duke of Rox- 
burghe, at the sale of whose library in 181 2 it fetched 

' A copy of Shakespeare's 'Poems and Sonnets' dated 160^ is mentioned 
in the manuscript catalogue of the library of Earl Howe, at Gopsall, Leicester- 
shire. The library was bequeathed, with the Gopsall property, to Lord Howe's 
ancestor, William Penn Assheton Curzon, by Charles Jennens, the virtuoso, 
and friend of Handel, in 1773. But the earliest edition of the Sonnets in Lord 
Howe's library at Gopsall proves on examination (which Lord Howe invited 
me there to make) to be Lintott's edition of 17 10— in which the title-page of 
the 160^ edition of the Sonnets is reproduced. 

I 2 


TheEdition £ii IOJ-. od. It was again sold at Evans' sale rooms in 

OF i6oy. ^ valuable collection of 'Books of a Gentleman gone abroad ', 

on Jan. 25-, 1830, for ^29 loj-. 6d.y and was afterwards acquired 

by George Daniel, whose monogram G. D. is stamped on the 

cover. It fetched at the Daniel sale of 1 864 ^225- 1 5-/. od.^ and 

afterwards passed into the collection of Almon W. Griswold of 

New York. Mr. Church purchased it of Mr. Griswold through 

Dodd, Mead 6c Co. of New York in 1889 for £1^000 

(fjooo dollars). The title-page is reproduced in facsimile in 

the Grolier Club's <■ Catalogue of original and early editions ', 

1895-, p. 185-. 

No. X. Mr. F. R. Halsey, of New York, is the owner of the copy 

The Haisey formerly belonging to Frederick Locker Lampson, of Rowfant, 

iSv at' which was sold to Messrs. Dodd, Mead & Co. of New York in 

Rowfant. Jan. 1905-. This copy has the Aspley imprint. It seems to be 

the ' imperfect ' copy sold at the Jolley sale in London in 

1 8 44 for ^33;' and successively in the libraries of Edward 

Vernon Utterson, at whose sale in 18 f 2 it fetched ^30 5-/. od.; 

of J. O. Halliwell[-Phillipps], who sold it for £^1 in i8y5, 

when it was acquired by Sir William Tite. At the Tite sale 

in I 874 it seems to have been bought by Messrs. Ellis & White 

for the late Frederick Locker Lampson for £1^1 os. od. The 

title and dedication are supplied in admirable facsimile by 

Harris. The volume is bound in extra-morocco by J. Clarke. 

No. XI. A third copy in America, which belongs to Mr. W. A. 

The White White of Brooklyn, also has the title-page and dedication in 

copy. facsimile. It measures 6~' x f\ The volume was bound by 

Charles Lewis and acquired by the present owner in New 

York in 188 7. 

PoLMs OF The edition of 1(^40 is an octavo of ninety -seven leaves 

1^40. without pagination, and is made up in two distinct parts — 

' Dibdin writes somewhat mysteriously of JoUey's copy, despite its imper- 
fections, thus : ' The history of the acquisition of the Jolley copy is one of 
singular interest, almost sufficient to add another day to a bibliographical 
decameron. The copy is in pristine condition, and looks as if snatched from 
the press.' Bound up with the Fenus and Adonis of 1 5-94 (see Vejim and Adonis^ 
Census No. II, British Museum copy), it was acquired by Jolley for a few pence 
in a Lancashire ramble. 



the first of five leaves and the second of ninety-two. The Poems of 
first part, of five leaves, is supplementary to the rest of the ^^'^°- 
work. On the third and fourth leaves are respectively The suppic- 
the signatures *2, *3, a form of signature which indicates that '"^"'^.^'t 
the sheet to which it is attached was prepared and printed pagcs"^ 
after the rest of the volume was ready for the press. These 
supplementary pages contain a frontispiece facing the title, 
presenting a carefully-elaborated cut of the Droeshout 
engraving of the First Folio signed ' W. M. Sculpsit '. The 
cngraxer was William Marshall, an artist of repute. The 
lower half of the plate is occupied by eight lines of verse, 
of which the first six consist of three couplets drawn at 
haphazard from Ben Jonson's eulogy in the First Folio. The 
concluding couplet — 

For ever live thy fame, the world to tell. 
Thy like no age shall ever parallel. 

alone seems original.' The title-page of the supplementary 
leaves rims : — 

Poems: \ Written ; by Wil. Shake-speare 1 Gent. \ [Printer's 
device with motto * Fleb. Ddim. Heb. Ddiev.'] Printed at Lon- 
don by Tho. Cotes^ and are to be sold by lohn Benson^ dwelling 
in I St. Dunstmi^s Church-yard. 1 6\o. 

On leaf *2 begins < Address to the Reader', signed I. B., 
i.e. John Benson, the publisher and bookseller. On leaf *3 
begins a piece of commendatory verse ' Vpon Master William 
Shakespeare, the Deceased Authour, and his Poems ' occupying 
three pages and signed * Leon. Digges '. On the back of leaf 
*4 are seven commendatory couplets headed ' Of Mr. William 
Shakespeare ' and signed John Warren. There the first part 
of the volume ends. 

The second and substantive portion of the volume The sub- 
follows immediately. It begins with a second title-page, ^Jj'^'l^^^'of 
identical at all points with the first, save for the omission the book. 
of the date, 1^40, in the last line. This title is printed on 

' The first three couplets are respectively Jonson's lines 17, i8, 47, 48, 
and 3, 4. 


Poems of the first leaf of a sheet bearing the signature A. The text 
1^40. begins on a leaf which is signed A 2, and headed < Poems 
by Wil. Shake-speare, Gent.' Thenceforth the signatures 
are regularly marked, viz. A 2, A3-M4 in eights. The 
contents become very miscellaneous and are by many hands 
after leaf G (recto), on which appears Shakespeare's last 
sonnet, CLIV. After an interval of four leaves, on Gf (verso) 
begins A Lovers Complaint^ which finishes on H2 (verso), and 
is succeeded by Heywood's two < Epistles ' from The Passionate 
Pilgrim of 1612. (H3 recto -K 4 recto). The following leaves 
down to Li (verso) are successively occupied by Marlowe's 
poem, <Liue with me and be my loue ', with Raleigh's 
reply (in the text, not of The Passionate Pilgrim but of 
England? s Helicon) ; another [reply] of the same nature (from 
England'* s Helicmi) ; ' Take oh take those lippes away ' (from 
Fletcher's Bloody Brother in two stanzas, of which the first only 
appeared in Pleasure for Measure^ iv. i. i-<^); 'Let the bird of 
lowest lay' with the <Threnes' (from Chester's Loves Martyr^ 
I (^01, where it is assigned to Shakespeare); 'Why should this 
a Desart be' (from Js Ton Like Ity iii. 2. 133-52); Milton's 
Epitaph from the Second Folio; Basse's sonnet from the 
First Folio ; and a previously unprinted ' Elegie on the death 
of that famous Writer and Actor, Mr. William Shakespeare '. 
On signature L2 (recto) is introduced a new section headed: 
'An addition of some excellent poems, to those precedent, of 
renowned Shakespeare, by other gentlemen.' Sixteen separate 
poems follow with the following titles: 'His Mistresse Drawne', 
signed B. L. ; ' Her minde ', signed B[en] I[onson] ; ' To Ben. 
lohnson ', signed F[rancis] B[eaumont] ; ' His Mistris Shade ' 
(from Herrick's Hesferides)\ ' Lavinia walking in a frosty 
morning'; 'A Sigh sent to his Mistresse'; 'An Allegorical 
allusion of melancholy thoughts to Bees ', signed L G. ; 'The 
Primrose' (from Herrick's Hesperides)-^ 'A Sigh' (by Thomas 
Carew); 'A Blush'; ' Orpheus Lute '; 'Am I dispis'd because 
you say' (from Herrick's Hesperides)\ ' Vpon a Gentlewoman 
walking on the Grasse'; 'On his Love going to Sea' 
(assigned to Carew) ; and ' Aske me no more where loue 


bestovves ' (by Carew). A typed facsimile of the 1^40 Poems of 
volume was issued by Alfred Russell Smith in iSSf. ^^^o- 

The volume is comparatively common. The earliest Jhe copies 
mention of its sale by auction was in KJ83, but the price jjjjf^j'jej*^ 
it fetched is unknown. It sold for a shilling at Dr. Francis 
Bernard's sale in i588. Just a century later a copy fetched 
9J-. at Thomas Pearson's sale. The highest price it has yet 
reached at public auction is -fiotf, which was realized at the 
Turner sale in June, 1888. Smce that date a dozen copies, in 
very varying condition, have been publicly sold at lower 
prices. Copies are in the following public libraries in England: 
The British Museum, two copies (one in Grenville collection, 
measuring Stz" ^ 3^6-") ^^'^^ ^^^y C- 3 9- ^' 4o> without portrait) ; 
Bodleian Library, Oxford, Malone collection ; Trinity Col- 
lege, Cambridge, Capell collection, measuring y^" x 3I-" j the 
Shakespeare Memorial Library, Birmingham j and the Shake- 
speare Memorial Library, Stratford-on-Avon. 

In America the public libraries possessing copies include : 
New York Public Library (Lenox collection), Boston Public 
Library (Barton collection). 

Among private owners in America Mr. Robert Hoe of 
New York owns the very fine copy, bound by Charles Lewis, 
measuring S-h" '^ l\'\ which fetched £106 at the sale in 
London at Sotheby's on June 18, 1888, of the library of 
Robert Samuel Turner. Heber's (imperfect) copy is now the 
property of Mr. H. H. Furness of Philadelphia. 




^v::. W 

Ncucr before Impriaccd.'^ 

^/ .-^^ 


By y^J?/^ for r. 7". and arc 

oobc iblde by wilBsm^^Uy. 
















FRom faireft creatures wc dcfirc incrca/e. 
That thereby beauties Rofi might ncuer Sc, 
But as the riper fhould by time deccafe. 
His tender heirc might bearc hi$ memory: 
But thou contra6lcd to thine owne bright eyes, 
Fecd'ft thy lights flame with felfe fubflantiaUfcvvelJ, 
Making a famine where aboundance lies. 
Thy fclfe thy foc,to thy fweet felfe too cruelJ: 
Thou that art now the w otlds frefli ornament. 
And only hcrauld to the gaiidv fpring, 
Within thine owne bud burieit thy content. 
And tender chorle makft wali in niggarding: 
Pitty the world.or clfe this glutton be, 
To cate the worlds due,by the graue and thee. 


\7^\7^^n fortie Winters fliall befeige thy brow. 

And diggc deep trenches in thy beauties field. 
Thy y outhcs proud liucry fo gaz'd on now, 
Wil be a totter'd weed offinal worth held: 
Then being asktjwhere all thy beautic lies. 
Where all the treafure of thy lufty daies; 
To fay within thine owne deepc funkcn eyes. 
Were an all-cating {}iame,and thriftleflc praifc. 
How much more praife deferu'd thy beauties vfe. 
If thou couldft anfwere this faire child of mine 
Shall fum my count,and make my old excuTc 
Proouing his beauucby fucccfTion thine. 

B 5nii« 


This were to be n cvv made when thou art ould, 
And fee thy blood warmf when thofl fccl'ft it could, 

LOokcin thy glaflc and tell the ftce thou vc weft, 
Now is the time that face fliOHld forme an other,, 

Whofcircfh-rcpaicc if now thou not rcneweft, 

Tiiou doo'ft beguile the world^vnbleffe fome mother.. 

For where is (ht fo ftirc whofe vn-eard wombc 

Difdaincs the tillage of thy husbandry? 

Or who is he fo fond will be the torabc. 

Of his fclfc loue to ftop pofterity? 

Thou art thy mothers glafle and fhe in thee. 

Calls backe theioueJy April! of her prime, 

So thou through windowes of thine age flialt fee,. 

Difpight of wrinkles this thy gouldcn time. 
But if thou liuc remembred not to be, 
Dicfingic and- thine Image dies with thee,. 


VNthrirty.loucIincfTe why do(\ thou /pcnd,. 
Vponthy fclfc thy.beauties legacy? 
Natures bequeft giues nothing but doth lend. 
And being franck (he lends to thofe arc free: 
Then beautious nigard why dooft thou abufc, 
Thcbountious largefle giucnthee togiuc?. 
Profitlcs vferer why do oft thou vie 
So greatafummeof fummcsyct can'ftnotliue? 
For hauing traffikc with thy fclfe alone. 
Thou of thy felfe thy fwect felfe doft deceaue,. 
Then how when nature calls thee tobe gone. 
What acceptable tyfttdir can'ft thou Icaue? 

Thy vnufd beauty muft be tomb'd with thee. 

Which, vfed liucsth'cxccutor to be. 

THofc bowers that with gentle worke did frame. 
The loucly gaze where cuery eye doih 4 weU 
Will play the:i;:*nis to thcvery fame, 
' ■' And 

Son KET $, 

Ami that vnfaire which faircly doth cjccclli 
For ncucr rclling time leads Siitnmcr on, 
To hidious wintcrand confounds him thrrc. 
Sap chcckc wid) trod and lurtic lcau*$ quite goa* 
Beauty orc-fnow'd and barencs euery whcrc- 
Then were not fummers d'tflillation left 
A hquid prifoncr pent in walls of cbfle, 
Beauties cffcd with beauty were bereft. 
Nor it nor noc remembrance what it was. 

But flowers dilhl'd though they with winter me«|r, 
Lecfc but their niow,thcir fubflancc ftill liuei fwccu 


THcn let not w inters wragged hand deface. 
In thee thy fummer ere tliou be diftil d: 

Make fvvcet fomc viall;trcafurc thou fome placc^ 

With beauties treafurc etc it bcfclfc kil'd: 

That vie is not forbidden vfery. 

Which happies thofc that pay the willing lone; 

That's for thy fclfc to breed an ether thee. 

Or ten times happier be it ten for one. 

Ten times thy felfe were happier then thou art. 

If ten of thine ten times rengur'd ihce. 

Then what could death doc if thou fhould'ft depart, 

Ltauing thee liuing in polterityj* 

Be not felfc-wild for thou art niucii too faire. 

To be deaths conqueft and make wormes tiiinc bcire, 


LOe in the Orient when tlic gracious light, 
Lifts vp his burning hcad,e3ch vmlcr eye 
Doth homage to his new appearing hght, 
Seruing with lookcs his facred maicHy, 
And hailing climb'd the ftcenc vp heauenly hiJl^ 
Refembling ftrong youth in lus middle age, 
Tet mort.ill lookes adore his beauty ftiU, 
Attending on his goulden pilpri.hagc: 
But Yv hen from bigU-moll pun with vvery car. 

SHAKl*$4>BAtEI i 

tike feeble age he reelcth from the day, \ 

The eyc$(fore dutiou«)now conucrtcd are 

From his low traft and looke an other way: j 

So thou,thy fclfc out-going in thy noon: ! 

VnlokM on dicft vnlcdc thou get a fonnc. | 

S I 

MVfick to hcarc,why hear'ft thou mufick fadly, i 

Sweets with fwcets warrc not , ioy deh'ghts in ioy: - 

Why lou'ft thou that which thou reccauft not gladly, | 

Of clfe retcau'ft withoIca(urc thine annoy ? 

If the true cohcord ot well tuned founds^ j 

By vnions married do offend thine eare, ] 

They do but fwcetly chide thee, who confounds \ 

In finglenclTe the parts that thou fhould'ft bcare.- • ] 

Marke how one ftring fweet hu»band to an other. 

Strikes each in each by mucuall ordering; 

Refembling fier,and child, and happy mother, i 

Who all in on€,one plcafing note do ling:. 

Whofe fpeechlcflfe fon& being many,lcemin^ one, j 

Sings this to thee thou fiiigle wilt proue none. j 

9' j 

IS it for feare to wet a widdowes eye. 

That thou confum'ft thy felfe in tingle life?' j 

Ahii^ thou ilTulefle (halt hap tadie, j 

The world will waile thee like a makeletfe wi/e,. 

The world wilbc thy widdow and ftill wcejpe,. 

That thou no fonnc of thee haft teft behind , i 

When euery priuat widdow well may keepe. 

By childrcns eyes,her husbands fhape in minde:- 

Looke what an vnthrift in the world dodi fpendl | 

Shifts but his place,for ftill the world inioyes it I 

But beauties waftei hath in the world an end. 

And kept vnvfde the vfcr fo deftroyes it: 

No loue toward others in that bofome fits ' 

That on hlmfelfc fucb murdious jthame committ* I 



FOrriiamc deny that tVi i bcar'f>loiicto any 
Who for thy fclfe art fo vnprouidcnt 

Craunt ifthou wlIt,thou art bclou'd of many, 

But that thou none lou ft is moft euidcnt: 

For thou art fo poffeft with murdrous hate. 

That gainft thy felfc thou ftickft not to confpire, 

Seeking that beautious roofe to ruinate 

Which to rcpaire fhould be thy chiefe defirc : 

O change thy thought,that I may change my mindc, 

Shall hate be fairer log'd then gentle loue? 

Be as thy prcfence is graci ous and kind, 

Or to thy fclfe at leaft kind harted prouc. 
Make thee an other felfe for loue of me. 
That beauty ftill may Hue in thine or thee, 

AS fart as thou fhait wane fo faft thou grow'ft. 
In one ofthine,from that which thou departed. 
And that frefli bloud which yongly thou beftow'ft. 
Thou maiit call thine, when thou from youth conuertcft. 
Herein lines \\ifdoirc,beauty,and increafc. 
Without this follie,age,and could decay, 
Ifall Were minded fo,the times fhould ceafe, 
And thrccf oorcyeare would make the world away: 
Let thofe whom nature hath not made for ftore, 
Harfii,featurele{re,and rude , barrenly perrifli, 
Locke whom flic beft indow'd,rhe gaue the more; 
Which bountious guift thou fhouldft in bounty cherrifii. 
She caru'd thee for her fcalc,and ment therby, 
Thou fhouldft print more,not let that coppy die. 
'\7 \7Hen 1 doe count the clock that tels the time, 

And fee the braue day funck in hidious night, 
When 1 behold the violet part prime. 
And fable curls or llluer'd ore with white : 
When lofty trees I fee barren ofleaucs, 
Which erft from heat did canopic the herd 

B 3 And 

S » A Xr--". P E ARE f 

And Sommcrs greenc ail girded vp in fheaucs 
Borne on the bcare with white and brilUy beard: 
Tlicn ot'thy beauty do I quertion make 
That thou among the waRcs of time muft goc. 
Since fwccts and beauties do thcm-fclues fori'ake. 
And die as faft as they fee others grow. 
And nothing ^ainft Times fieth can make defence 
Sauc breed to brauc liim,ivhen he takes thee hence. 

QThat you were your fclfe.but lone you are 
No longer yours,then you your felfc here liuc, 
Againft this camming end you fliould prepare. 

And yourfwect fcmblanceto foir.c other giuc. 

So n-iOuld that beauty which you hold m kafc 

Find nodtfermination,thenyou were 

You fclfc again after your felfcs deceafc. 

When your fwect ifluc your fweet forme fFiould bcirc. 

Who lets fo faire ahoufc fall to decay, 

Which husbandrv in honour might vphold, 

Againti ti;c (hjiiTiy ^ulii cfwiiucrs day 

And barren rage of deaths cternall cold? 

O none but vnthrifts,dcarc my louc you know. 

You had a Fatherjiet your Son fay fo. 


NOt fro n the ftars do I my iudgement plucke, 
And yet me thinkes I Iiaue Aftronomyj 
But not to tell ofgoodjOr euil lucke, 
Ofplagucs.of dearths, or fcafons quallity. 
Nor can J fortune to brcefe mynuits tell; 
Poniting to each ins thunder, raine and wiadc. 
Or fay with Princes if it fhal go wcl 
By of: prcdid that I in heaucn findc. 
But from thine cics my know ledge I dfriuf, 
And conltaiic ftars m them I re.-^d fuch trt 
Ai truth and hrautic fhal together thriuc 
If from chy fcit'cig ftorc thou wouldl^ conu?rt) 


Or elfc oftUef this I prognofticatc, 
Thy end i> 1 ruthts and Beauties doomc and date, 

V\7 Hen T canfider cuery thing that growes 
Holds in perfe<^ion but a fittfc moment. 
That this huge ftage prcfentcth nought but (howcs 
Whereon the Stars id fccrct influence comment. 
When I rercciue that men as plant* increafc, 
Chcared and chcckt cucn by the felfc-fame skic: 
Vaunt in their youthful! fap,at height decrcaTc, 
And were their brauc ftatc out of memory. 
Then the conceit of this inconrtant flay, 
Sets you mcft r ich in youth before my fight. 
Where walttull time dcbateth with decay 
To change your day of youth to fullicd nightly 

And all in war w ith Time for louc of you 

As he takes from ycu,I ingraft you new. 


BVt wherefore do not you a mightier waic 
Make warrc vppon this bloudie tirant lime? 1 
And fbrtifieyoiir Iclfc ir. your decay 
With mcanes more blcflcil then my barren rime? 
Now Hand ycu.on the top of happie hourcs. 
And many maiden gardens yet -vnfet, 
With vertucus wiHi would beareyourliuin'^flowcrf; 
Much liker then your painted counterfeit: 
So fhould the lines of life that life repajrc 
Which this (Times pcnfel or my pupill pen ) 
Neither in inward worth nor ourward fairc 
Can makcyru liuevourfclfe in eiesofmen^ 
To giuc^ yrur felfe,kceps your Ctlfc ftill, 
And yen muft hue drawnc by your owne fwect skill, 

^7^ WHa v/ill bclceuc my retfe i:i time to come ' 
If it were hid v. ith your moft high dcfcrts? 

B 4 Though 


Though yet hcauen knowcs it isbut as a tombc 

Which hides your life , and Hicvvcs not halfc your ptrtf x 

If I could write the beauty of your eyes. 

And in fredi numbers number all your graccf. 

The age to come would fay this Poet lies. 

Such hcaucniy touches ncrc toucht earthly faces. 

So fliould my papers (yellowed with their age) 

Be fcornM,likc old men of Icflc truth then tongue, 

And your true rights be termd a Poets rage. 

And rtrctchcd miter of an Antique fong. 

But werefomc childc of yours aUue that time. 
You fhould Hue twife in it,and in my rime, 


SHall I compare thcc to a Summers day? 
Tiiou art more louely and more temperate: 
Rough windcs do ftiake the darling buds of Maic, 
And Sommers leaie hath all too fhort a date: 
Sometime too hot the eye of heauen fhincs. 
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd. 
And euery faire Som fiire feme-time declines. 
By chanccjor nature? changing courle vntrim'd; 
But thy eternall Sommcr fhall not fade, 
Nor loofe poflefTion of that faire thou ow'ft. 
Nor fhall death brag thou wandr'ft in his ftiade. 
When in eternal! lines to time thou grow'ft. 
So long as men can breath or eyes can fee. 
So long Hues this,and this giues life to thee, 


DEuouring time blunt thou the Lyops pawcs, 
And make the earth dcuourc her ownc fwect broo^, 
Pluckc the kecnc teeth from the fierce Tygers yawct, 
And butne the long liu'd Pharnix in her blood. 
Make glad and forry fcafons as thou flecc'ft, 
Anddo what ere thou wilt fwirt-footed time 
To the wide world and all her fading fwects; 
But I forbid thee one moft hainous crime. 


S O K N F. T S. 

O carue not with thy howers my loucs Taire brow. 

Nor draw noc lines there with thine antique pen, 

Him in thy courfc vntainted doe allow. 

For beauties pattcrne to fucccding men. 

Yet doe thy worfi ould Time difpight thy wrong, 
My louc fliallinmy vcrfeeucr Hue young. 

AVVomans face with natures ovvne hand painted. 
Hade thou the Mafter Milkis of my paflion, 
A womans gentle hart but not acquainted 
^'Vith fhiftipg change as is falfc womens fafhion, 
An eve more bright then theirs, Icflefalfe inrowling: 
Gilding the obieif^ whcrc-vpon it ^azeth, 
A man in hew all//if»'j'inhisccntiovv'ling, 
Which rtealcs mens eyes and womens foulcs araaieth. 
And for a woman vvert thou firft created. 
Till nature as fhe wrought thee fell a dotinge, 
Aad by addition me of thee defeated, 
By adding one thing to my purpofc nothing. 

But fince fhe prickt thee out for womens pleafure. 
Mine be thy loue and ihy loues vfe their trcafure. 

SO is it not with me as with that Mufe, 
Stird by a painted beauty to his verfe. 
Who heauen it felfe for ornament doth vfe, 
And cuery faire v\ith his faire doth reherfc. 
Making a coopelment of proud compare 
With Sunncand Moone.with earth and feas rich gcrns: 
With Aprills firft borne flowers and all things rare. 
That heauens ayre in this huge rondure hems, 
O let mc true in loue but truly write. 
And then beleeuc me,my loue is as faire. 
As any mothers chiIde,though not fo bright 
Asthofegould can dells fixt in heauens ayer.* 
Let them fay more that like ofheare-fay well, 
1 will not pray fe that purpofe not co fell. 

C 1,2 

S H A K E-S P I A R E $ 

MY glafTe fhall not pcrf-v ade mc I am oulif, 
So long as youth andthou a'cofonc date, 
But when in thfc times torrwcs IbcIiOulJ, 
Then look 1 death n^y dales fhould expiate. 
Forall that beauty that doth couerthee, 
Is but the fecmelv raymrnt of my he;ut, 
Wnich in thy brctt doth hue,as thine in nic, 
Hn.v can T then be elder then diou art? 
O chcrtforelouebcoftliy Iclfc Co wary, 
As I not tor my rcire,but for ttice v. ill. 
Bearing thy heart v^ hich ! v. ill krcpc Co th?ry 
As tender nurfe her babe from firing ill, 

Prcfume noton t!iy heirt ulien ivnc islliine, 
Thou gau'it me ih;nc net to giuc backc againe. 

AS an vrpfrfcitai^orontheftagr, 
Who with hi> fcarc ispui bcfidcs his part. 
Or iomc Here c thing rcpleat \^ iih too much rage, 
Waofc Hiengths abondance weaken:. hisoAiic heart; 
So ! for foarc of tru(t,forqct to fay. 
The perfc'fl- ceremony of louffs right, 
And ii mine ownc loues f^f-ength kerne to decay, 
Orc-cliarg'd with burthen of mine ov\ nc Icucs might: 
O let my books be then the eloquence, 
A'^d do nb prcfag'-rs of my fpeaking brcft, 
W lO plcide for Ioue,and look for recompcncc, 
Mjrcthcn tha' conge that more luth more exprcO. 
(")!earne to read \Ahat filent louehath v\iit. 
To b.caiCNNit cies belongs to loues fine wiht. 

TL M Tic eye hath pliy'd the painter and hath rteclJ, 
i ▼ 1 hy bcmties forme in tjblc of my heart, 
M/ boJv s ihefvamc whfrcin ti'sheld, 
A idpcrf->ect:u.- T is belt Pnnteri art. 
For ihro.igh the Painter mult you fct his ikill. 


S O N N r T s. 

TohnJc V. hero votir true Im?gc pi(5^iir'(1 lies, 
W\ ichinni\ bofoitics iTr^pisbing'!!';; (Iil, 
That hath ins vMiid'U". .s glazeil u ith thine f^ e5! 
Now \(r what p«^oiUtui res ryes frr C'C^ haiic (ione, (yes hail? Jravhc thv {"h-ipcar:*! tlimc for mc 
* re v\ mdoACf to my brtft, v\hcrf-ihrrurh liic Sini 
Dclic;!us to pccpCjio gaze therein on thcc 
Yet eves this cuunin*; v ant to grace their crc 
They draw but v\ bat they fce^know not the har»« 

T Et thofc who are in fauor with their ftari, 
. 1 Ot publike honciirind proud titles bofi, 

V\ hiili I \\ heme fortune of fich tr\ irmpS bars . 

Vl.](1(^!a for \oy in that I hoiioui n oil; 

(jr a: Pjiiiccs*aiiorires their faircicauei fprcaJ, 

But as t! e Maiygoid at the /'un< tyr. 

And 111 thcm-rdut s their prid : he$ buried. 

For at afrownethfy in their glory die. 

Tiie'painefull warricrfainofedfor vorth, 

After athoulandviftoriesoncc foild, . 

Is from the b K)ke ofhonour rafed qrJice, 

And all thcrtif forgot for vAhichhe tr.ild: 
7 hen happy 1 that loue and am bcloiied 
W'iitrc I may noc rcmouc.nor be renaoued, 

IOrd ofmy Ioue,to vihomc in raflalage 
-. Thy merrithach mv outie ftrongly knit; 
To thee 1 fend this written ambaffage 
To witnefle duty, not to Oicw my wit. 
Duty fo great,u hich wit fo poore as mine 
May make fecm'- barc,in w anting word^ to fhcw it; 
r>ut that 1 hope fome good cone eipt oftliinc 
lii thv foules thought^ all naked^ v% ill btltow it: 
Til whatfoeuer f>ar that guides my moumg, 
Points on me gratioufly with faire arpc(^l. 
And puu appauclJ on my tottered loumg, 

C 2 To 


To Hiovv ine worthy of their (wcct rcfpcfV^ 
Then may I dare to boaft how 1 doc louc thee, 
Til then,not (how my head where thou maifiproueir.s 

\\7 Eary with toyIc,T haft me to my bed , 

Tliedeaferepofcforlims with trauaill tired. 
But then begins a iouruy in my head 
To worke my mind,whcn boddiei Work's expircd- 
For then my thou[ihts(rrom far where I abide) 
Intend a zelous pilgrimage to thee. 
And keepe my drooping eye-lids open \\ ide. 
Looking on darknes which the blind doc fee. 
Sjiie that my foules imaginary fight 
Prclcnts their flindtioe to my fightles view. 
Which like a iewell("hunge m gaftiy night)^ 
Makes blacke night beautious,and her old face new. 
Loe thus by day my night my mind. 
For thee^and for my rclfe,noc quiet findc. 

HO'.v can I thenrcturnc in happy plight 
That am dcbard the bcnifit ofrcll.'' 
When daics opprclfion is not cazd by night. 
But day by night and night by day oprelt. 
And cach(though enimes to ethers raigne^ 
Doc in confcnt fhake hands to torture mc. 
The one by toyie,the other to complaine 
How far I toylcjllill farther oftYrom thee. 
} tell the D ay to plcafe him thou art bright, 
And uo'ft him grace when clouds doe blot the heaucn: 
So flitter I the fwart compltxiond night, 
Wiien fparkling ftars twire not thou j^uil'ft ih' cauen. 
But day doth daily draw my forrovvcs longcr,((^ronger 
And night doth nightly make grecfcs length fccme 
\7 WHcn in difgrace with Fortune and mens eyes, 
lallaloncbcwcepciJiy out-^.alliiate. 


S O NNl T S. 

An! trouble dcafc hcaucn with my bootleffc cries. 

And lookc vpon my fclte i>nd ciirfc my fate. 
Wifliinfmc like to one more rich inliopc, 
FcaturM like him, like him v\ith friends pc;(Tcft, 
Dclii iiig this mans art,aiid that mniis skope, 
With \A iiat I n\oi\ inioy contented Icali, 
Yet in thee thoughts my fclfe almort derpiilng, 
Hipl ye 1 thinke on thcc, and then my Itate, 
('Like to the Larkc at brcakc ofdaye arifingj 
From lullcn earth finc^s himns at Hcaucns qatc, 
For thy fvvect loue remembred fuch vvclth biings. 
That then I skorne tochan^emy (tatc withKin^s. 

Y^ X/Hcn to the Stffions ot Ivveet filcnt thoucht, 

I loinmon vp rcmen.brancc ofthinns pa(}, 
I Gen thelackeofmany a thing I foiightj 
And with old woes new waile my dcare times wafie? 
Then can I drownc an eye(vn-vfd to flow) 
For precious friends hid in deaths dateles night, 
A jd wecpc a frcfli Icucs lone; fince canccid w oc. 
And monc ih'cxpcnce of many avannifht fight. 
Then can I grccue at grceuances fore-gon, 
And iicauily from woe to woe tell ore 
The fid account of fore-bemoned mone, 
Which I new pay as if not payd before. 

But ifthe while! thinke on thee fdearc friend) 

All Icflls are rc(tord,and forrowes end. 

Thy bof MTje is indeared w ith all hearts, 
Which I by lacking; haue fijppofed dead, 
Ana ilicre raignes Loue and all Loues louing parts. 
An 'J a'l thofe friends which I thought buried. ' 
Hov\ many a holy and obfcquious tcarc 
Hath dcare religious Joue ftolne from mine eye, 
A-. irter'Uof the dead which how appeare. 
But ihiiigi remvu d t.iai hidden in there lie, 

C3 To 


Thou art the grauc where buiicd loue doth line, 
H ung with the trophcis of my loucrs gon, 
Who all their pnrts ofmc to thee did giuc. 
That due orrnany,now is thine alone. 

Their images I lou d, I view in thee, 

A-id thou(all they)haft all the ail of rne. 

IF thou furbiuc my well contented dale. 
When that churic death my bones with diift fliall coucr 
And /halt by fortune once more re- iuruay: 
Thefe poorc rude lines of thy deceafea Louer: 
Corr^pare them with the bettVing of the time. 
And though they be cut-Hript by curry pen, 
Referuc them for my loue, not for their rime, 
Exceeded by the hight of happier men. 
Oh then voutlafcmebut this louing tlioughc, 
Had my friends Mufcgrowne with this growing age, 
A dearer birth then thi* liis loue had brcugh; 
To march in ranckes of better equipage: 
But fmce he died and Poets better prcue, 
Theirs for their ihk ilc read,his foi his loue. 

33 , 

FVII many a glorious morning haue I feene. 
Flatter the mountaine tops w ich foucraine cie, 
Kifling with golden face the ineddo wcs grecnej 
Guilding pale itreames with heauenly alcumy: 
Anon permit thcbafcli cloud s t^* ride. 
With ougly rack on his celeftiall face, 
And from the foi-'orne v\orM his vifat^e hide 
Stealing vn'cene to wcfi uitli rhisd fgracc 
Eucn fo my Sunnc one early morne did fhine. 
With all triumphant fpiendor on my brow, 
But out alack.he was but one houre mine, 
The region cloudc hjxh masked him from me now. 
Yet h m for th)S,my loue no w hit difdameth. 
Soils of the world may ttaincjwhc iicaucns fun ftaintcH. 



WHy (IM thou promif* fuch a beautious day. 
And make mc trauailc forth without my doake, 
To let bace doudc s ore-take me in my way. 
Hiding thy brau'ry in their rotten fmokc. 
Tis not cnou;^h that through the cloudc thou brcakr, 
To dry the raincon my ftorme-beaten face, 
For no n an well of fuch aYa'ue can fpcake. 
That healcs the h ound, and cures not the difgrace: 
Nor can thy fliame giue phificke to my gricfe. 
Though thou repent , yet I hauc ftill the loffc, 
Th'ofFendcrs forrow lends but wcakc rdiefc 
To him that beares the ftrong offenfes loflfe. 

Ah but thofe teares are pcarie which thy lou« {hitds. 
And they arc ritch,and rajiiomc ail ill deeds. 

. 35 

NO more bee grceu'd at thatr which thou haft done. 
Roles haue thornes,and fikier fountaincs mud, 
Cloudes and cclipfes flaine both Moone and Sunne, 
And loath fome cankar Hues in fweetcft bud. 
All men make fau!ts,and cuen I in this^ . 
Authoiizing thy trefpas with compare^ 
My ielfe corrupthi^ faluing chyamiflV, 
Excusing tiieir fins more then their fins are: 
For to thy fenfuai! fault 1 bring in fence. 
Thy aduerfe party is thy Adaocate, 
And gainft my fclfe a lavvfull plea commence. 
Such ciiiill war is in myloueand hate, 

That I an acccflary needs muft be, 

To that fwcct ihccfc which fourely robs from tnc, 


rEt me tonfefl'c th'^t we two muft be twainc. 
Although vndeuided loues are one: 
So (h?A\ thole blots that do with mc remaine, 
Vv'^ th^ur thy helpe , by mc be borne aMne. 
la oui two Ivucs there U but oaereipcd, 



Though In our liucs a fcpcrable Tpight, j 

Which though it alter not loues folc cffc(5^, | 

Yet doth it ftealc fvvect houres from loues dclighCj j 

I may not cuer-morc acknowledge thee, | 

Leaft my bewailed guilt fhould do thee fhamc, \ 

Nor thou with publike kindneflc honour me, : 

Vnlefl'c thou take that, honour from thy name: J 

But doe not fojloue thee in Tuch fort, j 

As thou being mine,mine is thy good report. 


AS a decrepit father takes delight, 
To fee his aOiue childe do deeds of youth, 
So I , made lame by Fortunes dcareft fpight 
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth. 
For whether beauty,birth,or weaUh,or wit. 
Or any of thefe all,or all,or more 
Intitlcd in their parts,do crowned fit, 
I make my louc ingrafted to this ftorc: 
So then I am not lame^pcore, nor difpifd, 
Whilft that this Hiadow doth fuch fubftancc giac. 
That I in thy abundance am fuftic'd. 
And by a part of all thy glory liuc: 

Looke what is beft,that befl I wi/h in thee, 

This w ifli I hauc^then ten times happy me. 

TJOvv can my Mufc want fubie(5^ to inuent 

•■■ -^While thou doft breath that poor'ft into my rerCc, 

Thine ownefweet excellent. 

For cuery vulgar paper to rehearfc: 

Oh giuc thy (elfe the thankcs if ought in me. 

Worthy perufal fland againft thy fight. 

For who's fo dumbe that cannot write to thee. 

When thou thy felfe doft giueinuention light? 

Be thou the tenth Mufe,ten times more in worth 

Then thofc old nine which rimers iuuocate. 

And he that calls on thcc,let him bring forth 



Eternal numbers to out-liuc long date. 

If my flight Mufc doe plcafc ihcfe curious dales. 
The painc be mine,but thine fhal be the praifc. 


OH how thy worth with manners may I finge, 
When thou arc all the better part ofmc? 
What can mine owne praife to mine ownc felfe bring; 
And what is't but mine owne when I praifc thee, 
Euen for this.lct vs deuided Hue, 
And our deaie louc loofe name of fingle one. 
That by this fcperation I may giue: 
That due to thee which thou defcru'l^ alone: 
Oh abfcnce what a torment wouldfl: thou piouc. 
Were it not thy foure Icifurc gauc fwcct leauc, 
To cntertaine the time with thoughts of loue. 
Which time and thoughts fo fwectly doll deceiuc. 
And that thou teacheft how to make one twaine. 
By praifing him here who doth hence remainc, 

TAke all my loues,my loue,y-''a to'^.e them all, 
What hafl thou then more then tliou hadii before? 
No Ioue,my louc,that thou maid true iouc call, 
AH mine was rhine,tefore thou hadfl this inore: 
Then iffor my loue,thou my loue rccciuell, 
I cannot blame thee,for my loue thou vlclt, ' 
But yet be blam'd.ifthou this felfe deceaucft 
B y wilfuU tafte of what rhy felfe rcfufdi. 
I doe forgiue thy robb'ric gentle thcefe 
Although thoufteale ^hee all my poucrty: 
And yet loue knowes it is a greater grief c 
Tobcare loucs wrong,then hates knowne iniury, 
Lafciuious grace,i'i whom all il v\ el fliowes, 
Killmc with fpi^^hts yet we rauft not be foes. 

IHofe pretty wrongs tliat liberty commit^. 
When 1 am fomc-tinjc abfcnt from thy heart, 

D Thy 

S HA aT-' P E AR E ':. 

Thy bealltl^,and thy ycarcs full weH bcfirs, 
Foi ftill temptation follovvcs where tb.ou art. 
Ccotlc thou artjand therefore to be vvoni.e, 
Beautious thou artjthercforc to be aflailcti. 
And vA'hen a wotnan vvoes,v\hat womansfonne, 
Will lou: civ leaue her till he haue preuailed. 
Aye inc but yet ihou luighrt my fcatc foibcaret 
And chide thy bcaury.and thy lirayiig youth, 
Who lead thee in their ryoteucn there 
Where thou art forll to brcakc a two-fold truth: 

Hers by thy bea'uiy tempting her to ihce, 

Thine by thy bcautie beeing faifc to me. 

THat thou hafl hcHt is not all my gricfc, 
And yet it may be ( aid I lou'd her dcereiy, 
Thac fhc hath thee is of my wayling ch-cfe, 
A lolTc irr lou? thac me rnoicnecrely. 
Louing offendors thus T will excufe yee. 
Thou doofi ioue hcr.becaufc thou know ft I loue hcfj 
And for my fake euen fo doth fhc abufe me, 
Suftnngmy friend for my fake to approoue her, 
]f I look thec^my loflc is my loucs game, 
Andloofing hcr;iny friend hath found that ioffc, 
Both fulde each other, and I loofe both cwainc. 
And both for my fake lay on me this croHe, 
BiU here's the ioy,my friend and 1 arc one, 
Swcete fl2ttcry_,tncn (liC loues but me alone, 

W/ H:n moll 1 winkc then doe mine eyes beft fee. 
For a!) the day they view things vnrefpcftcd, 
But whi n 1 fleepe,in dreames they lookc on thee, 
Anddaikelv br!pht,are bright in darke directed. 
Then thou whofe fhaddoA fhaddowes doth maVe bright, 
How would ihy fliadowes fbrme,forme happy fliow. 
To the ckere day with thy nauchclecrer light, 
When to vtt-fccing eyes thy flaade fliincs fo? 


How would fl fay jminc eyes be blcffc J made, 
By looking on thee in the liuing day ? 
VVlictj !!) (lead night their Taire 'impcTfc6\ /hade. 
Through hcauy llccpc on nghtlcffc cycj doth ftay? 

AH dayc? arc nights co fee till I I'cc thee, 

And nights bright daics \a hen drcanis do ilicw ihcc me» 

44 ^ 

IF the dull fubdance of my ficfh were thought, 
Iniurious diftancc fhould not flop my way, 
For thcii (iifpighr of fpaccl would be brought, 
F'oni hinits farre rcmotc.whcrcthou doo(i /by. 
No matter then a/though try footc did (land 
Vpon the fartiicft earth rcir.oou'd fiom thee, 
For njtnbic thoitgiic ran iiimpc both fea and lancJ, 
As foone as thuikc the place where he would be. 
But ah,thoi;glu kills me that 1 am not thought 
To leapt- large lengths ofmilcs when thou art gone, 
Fuc that fo much cf earth and water wrought, 
I muft aticndjiimes Icafurc with my mone. 

Rccciuing naughts by clrmcLts io floe, 

liut hcaiiic tcarcSjbadges ot cithers woe« 

THe other twcflight ayre.and purging fire, 
Arebothwiththec,v\hereeuer labide. 
The ftrit my thought,thc other my defire. 
Theft prefcnt abicnt with fwift motion fiidc« 
For when thefc quicker Elements arc gone 
In tender Embarfie of Jcue to thee. 
My life being made of roure,with two alone, 
S-nkes downcto death,oppfe{t with melancholic. 
V.inll lines crrnpoHtion be rccured. 
By thofe fwift me (Ten gcrs return'd trom thee, 
Wlio tuen but now come oack agame aflurcd. 
Of thcii faire hcahh.rccounting it to me. 
This told,! toy,but then no longer glad, 
3 fend them back againc and Hraight grow la<I. 

D % Mini 



Mine eye and heart are at a mortall warre. 
How to dcuidc the conqucft of thy fight, 
Mine cye,my heart their pictures fight would barre. 
My hcart,niine eye the frcecdome of that right, 
My heart doth plead that thou in him dooftiye, 
(A clofet neuer peaid with chriftall cycs^ 
But the defendant doth that plea deny, 
And faycs in him their faire appearance lyes. 
To fide this title is impannellcd 
A qucft of thoughts,all tcnnants to the hffart, 
And by their verdi(5^ is determined 
The clecre eyes moyitie,and the dcare hearts part. 
As thus,mine eyes due is their outward part. 
And my hearts right,thcir inward loue of heart. 

B,, 47 
Etwixt mine eye and heart a league is tookc. 
And each doth good turncs now vnto the other. 
When that mine eye is famifht for a looke, 
Or heart in louc with fighcs himfclfe doth fmother; ■ 
With my loues pidurc then my eye doth fcaft, 
And to the painted banquet bids my heart: 
An other time mine eye is my hearts gueft. 
And in his thoughts of loue doth /hare apart. 
So cither by thy pi6^ure or my loue. 
Thy fcife a way, are prcfent ftill with me. 
For thou nor farther then my thoughts canft moue. 
And I am ftill with thein,and they with thee. 
Or if they flcepe, thy pidure in my fight 
Awakes my heart,to hearts and eves deh^ht 

48 ^ ° 

HOw carefull was I when I tooke my way. 
Each trifle vnder trueft barres to thruft. 
That to my vfe it might vn-vfed ftay 
From hands of falfehood,ia fure wards of truft ? 
But thoujto whom my icvvcis trifles are. 



Mofl worthy comfort,now my greatcft gnCiC, 

Thou befl;ofdecrcft,and mine onely cnic, 

Arr Icfc the prey of eiicry vulgar thccfe. 

'! hcc hauc I not iockc vp in any chcft, 

Sane where thou art not though I fcclc <hou art, 

Within the gcntlrclofii e ofniy breft, 

From whence at plcafui c thou maift come and part, 
And eucn thence thou wilt be flolnc I fcarc, 
For truth prooucis ihccuifh for a priic fo dcare, 

ACainf^ chat time ( ifcucr that tiire come J 
When I fhall fee thee frowne on my detccf^s, 
When asthy loiichath cnft his vimoft Uanmc, 
Cauld to thatauditeby aduiTd rcfpedls, 
Againft that time when thou (IrAt ftran^cly pafic, 
And fcarccly greete me with that fnnne thine eye, 
When loue conuerted from the thing it was 
Shall reafons finde of fetled graiiitie. 
Againft that time do I infconce me here the knov\ledge ofmincownc defart. 
And this my hand,anainrt my fclfc vprcare, 
To guard the lavvfuU reafons on thy part. 

To Icaue poore mc,thou hall the lircngth of lawes^ 
Since why to loue,I can alledgc no caufe. 

HOw hcauie doc I iourney on the way, 
When what I fceke (my wearic traucls end j 
Doth teach that eafe and that repofe to fay 
Thus farre the miles arc meafurde from thy friend. 
The beaft that bearcs me,tired with my woe, 
Plods duly on,to beare that waight in mc. 
As if by fome inftinft the wretch did know 
His rider lou'd not fpced being made from thee: 
The bloody fpurre cannot prouoke him on, 
That fome-times anger thrulh into his hide, 
Wbichlveauily he anfwers with a grone, 

D 3 More 

S H A K 1-S P 1 A X B 9. 

More fiiarpc to mc then {purring to his fide. 
For that lame gronc doth put this in my minif. 
My grcefe lies onward and my ioy behind, 


^TT Hus can my louc f xcufe the flow offence, 
Jl Ofmy dull bearcr,when from tlicc \ fpecd. 
From where thou art, why flioulld I haltnic thence. 
Till I returne ofpofting is noe need. 
O what excufe will my poorc bcafl tl^en Rttd, 
When Iwlfc extremity can frcme but flow. 
Then fiiouid 1 fpurrc though mounted en the wind. 
In winged (ptcd no motion flia'1 1 know. 
Then caa no horle with my defire keepe pace, 
Therefore dcfirc(^ofperfc6lsloue being made} 
Shall iia'gh noc dull flclli in his fiery race. 
But loue,tor loiic^thns fhall cxcufe my iade. 
Since from thee going.hc ^-vent wilful] flow. 
Towards thee iie run,and giuc him Icaue to goe. 

^ O am I as the rich whofc blefTed key, 

t JCan bring him to his fweet vp-locked treafure. 

The v\ hich he v\ ill not eu*ry hower furuay. 

For blunting the fine point of feldomeplcafurc. 
Therefore are feafts fo follemne and fo rare. 
Since filJom comming in the long yearc fet. 
Like ftones of worth they thinly placed are, 
Oi captaine Jewells in the carconct. 
So is ihc time that kecpes you as my chcft. 
Or as the ward-robe w hich the robe doth hide 
By new vnfouluing his imprifon'd pride. 

Bleffcd are you whofe worthincflc glues skope, 
Being had to tryumph,being lackt to hope. 

"^ \ /Hat i^ your fubftance,vvhercof are you made, 

That njiliions of ftrange ihaddowes on you tend? 


Son hi t s» 

Since cuciy onc,liath cucry one,onc fhade, 

And you but one,can eucry fhaddow lend; 

Defcribc tAdoMu and the countcrfct, 

Is poorely immitatcd after you, 

On Hellens chcekc all art of beau tic fet, 

And you in Grecian tires arc painted new: 

Speakc of the fpring.and foyion of the yeare. 

The one doth rhaddovv of your beriutiefKow, 

The other as your bountie doth appeare, 

And you in euery bltffed fliapc 'a e know. 
In all cxtcrnall grace you haue fome part, 
But you like none,none you for conftant heart. 


OH how much more doth beamie beautious fccme, 
V>y that fvvcet ornament \A'hich truth do:b giue. 
The Rofe lookcs faire, but fairer \vc it dccme 
For that fweet odor,whicIi doth in ji liuc: 
The Canker bloomes haue full asdcepc a die. 
As the perfumed tinfture ofthc Rofcs, 
Hang on fuch thornes,and play as ^vantonly> 
When fommers breath their masked budsdilclofes: 
But for their virtue only is their fhow, 
They liue vnvvoo'd, and vntcfpec'tcd fade. 
Die to themfdues . Sweet Rofes doe not fo. 
Of their fweet deathes, are fwecteO odors made: 

Andfo ofyou,beautiru$and louely youth; 

When that fhallvade,by verfediftils your truth. .. 

NOt marble, nor the guilded monnment, 
Of Princes fliall out-liup this powrefull rime. 
But ycu fhall (hine more bright m thcfe contents 
Then vnfv^eptftone, befmcer d v^ith fluttiflitimc. 
When waftefuU warrc fhall 5Mr»f/ouer-turnc, 
And brojles rootcout the worke ofmafonry, 
Kor >4^^r/hisfword, norwarres t^uickfirc fliall bumc; 
1 he liuing record ofyour memory, 



Gainfl death,ind all obliuious emnity 

Shall you pace forth, your praife fliaJl ftil finde roome, 

Euen in the eyes of all poftcrity 

That wearc this world out to the ending doome. 

So til the iudgemcnt that your felfe arife, 

You liuc in this,and dwell in louers cics. 

Sweet louc renew thy force , be it not faid 
Thy edge fhould blunter be then apctitc. 
Which but too daie by feeding is alaied. 
To moiTow fharpned in his former might. 
So loue be thou, although too daie chou fill 
Thy hungrie cics,ciien till they vvinck withfulncire. 
Too morrow fee againc, and doc not kill 
The fpirit of LouCjWirh a perpetual diilnclTc: 
Let this fad Intrtm like the Ocean be 
Which parts the fhorCjWherc two contrafted new. 
Come daily to the banckes,that when they fee.- 
Returne of loue^morc blefi may be the view. 
Ascal it Winter,which being ful of care. 
Makes Somers welcome, thrice more \vjf}i'd,morc rare ; 


BEing your flauc what fhould I doc but tend, 
Vpon the houres,and times of yo'ir defirc? 
I hauc no precious time at al to fpcnd; 
Nor fcruices to doc til you require. 
Nor dare I chide the world without end houre, 
Whilfl I (my foueraine)watch the clock for you. 
Nor thinke the bitterncffc of abfence fowre. 
When you baue bid your feruant once adieuc. 
Nor dare I qucftion w ith my ieahous thought, 
Where you may be,or your affaires fuppofc. 
But like a fad flaue ilay and thinke of nought 
Saue where you arc , how happy you make thofc. 
So. true a foole is Iouc,tha£ in your Will, 
(Though you doc any thing)hc thinljes no ill. 

58 i 



THat God forbldjthat made mc firft your flauc, 
I rhould in thought controulc your times of plcafuK, 
Or at your hand th' account of hourcs to craue. 
Being your va{fail bound to fiaic your leifurc. 
Oh let me fuffer('being at your beck) 
Th* imprifon'd abfcncc of your libcrtie. 
And patience tamc,to fuffcrancc bide each check. 
Without accufing you of iniury. 
Be where you hft,your charter is fo ftrong, 
That you your fclfc may priuiledgc your time 
To what you will,to you it doth belong. 
Your felfc to pardon of felfe-doing crime. 

I am to waite,though waiting fo be hell. 

Not blame your plcalijre be it ill or well. 


IF tlicir bee nothing ncw,but that which is, 
Hath bcenc before , how arc our braincsbcguiJd, 

Which laboring for inuention bcarc amilTc 

The fecond burthen of a former child ? 

Oh that record could with a back-ward looke, 

Eucn of fiue hundrcth courfes of the Sunne, 

Show me your image in fomc antique booke. 

Since minde at firft in carre<5ler was done. 

That I might fee what the old world could fay. 

To this compofed wonder of your frame. 

Whether we are mendcd,or where better they. 

Or whether reuolution be the fame. 
Oh furc I am the wits of former daics, 
To fubiedls worfe haue giucn admiring praifc# 

Like as the waues make towards the pibled fhore. 
So do our minuites haften to their end. 
Each changing place with that which goes beforej 
In fequent toile all forwards do contend. 
Natiuity once in the mainc of light. 

: E Criw]# 

Shake SP8 arbs 

Cravvlcs to maturity ,vvhcrcwith being crown* d. 
Clocked cclipfes gainft his glory ftght, 
And time that*g3tic,doth now hit gitt confound. 
Time doth tpanlHxc the fiori {li fee on youth, 
And dclucs the paralek in beauties brow, 
Feedcs on the rarities ofnatures truth. 
And nothing ftands but for his fieth to mow. 

And yet to tlmci in hope,my vcrfc Oiall ftand; 

Praifing thy worth,difpi5ht his crucll hand. 
^ 6j 

IS it thy vvil,thy Imagefliould kcqjcopcn 
My heauy eie'ids to the weary night? 

Doft thou defire my (lumbers (houid be broken^ 

While (hadowcs like to tbee domockcmy fightf 

Is it thy fpirit that thou fend*ft from thee 

So farrc from home into my deeds to prye. 

To find out fliamcs and idle houres in rac. 

The skppe and tenure of thy leloufief 

O nojthy loue though mucb^s^notfo great^ 

It is my loue that kcepes mine eic awake^ 

Mine ownc true loue that doth my reft defeat, 

To plaie the watch-man eucr for thy fake. 

For thee watch 1 jwhilft thou doft wake elTewhcrc,, 
From mc farrc of ,. with others aU ta ncere» 

SInnc of felfe-loue pofl*efleth.aI mine eic^ 
And all my ioulc,and al my euery partj, 
And for this finne there is no remedie. 
It is fo grounded inward in my heart. 
Mc thinkes no face fo gratious is as mine, 
"No fhapc fo truc,no truth of fuch account. 
And for my fclfc mine owne worth do define. 
As I all other in all worths furmount.. 
But when ray glalTc fhewes me my felfc indeed 
Bcated and chojt with tand antiquitie, 
.Mine owne fclft loue quite cootraty Itcad 


S ONNlTf. 

Sclfc/o fcirdouinc vrcrc iniquity, 

T'is tlice(my rcirc)that for my Idfe Ipraife, 
Painting my age with beauty of thy daics,- 

ACainft my loue fliall be as I am now 
With times inJHrious hand chruHit and orc-womc. 
When hourcs hauc drcind his blood and fild his brow 
With linc5 and wrinclcs,whcn his youthful! raorne 
Hath trauaild on to Ages ftcepic nighr. 
And all thofc beauties whereof now he's King 
Arc vanifliing,or vaniflit out of light. 
Stealing away the treafure of his Spring, 
Forfuchatimc do Inowfortific 
Againfl confounding Ages crucll knife, 
That he fliall ncuer cut from memory 
My fwcet loues beauty, though my ioucrslifr. 
His beautic fhall in thcfc blacke lines be fccnc, ? 
And they {hall liuc , and he in theraltill grccnc, 

WHen I haue fccnc by times fell hand defaced 
The rich proud coi\ of outwcrnc buried age. 
When fometimc loftie towers I fee downe rafcd. 
And braffe ctcrnall flauc tc mortall rage. 
When I hauc feenc the hungry Ocean gainc 
Aduantagc on the Kingdonic of the (hoarc. 
And the nrme foile win of the watry maine, 
Incrcafing (lore w uh lofTcjand loflc w ith florc. 
When 1 hauc fccnc fuch interchange of ftatc, 
Or flatc it fclfe confounded, to decay, 
Ruinc hath taught me thus 10 ruminarc 
That Time will come and tal<e my louc away. 
This thought is as a death v> hch cannot choofc 
But wccpc to haucjthat w hich it fearcs to loofc. 

C Tnce bra(re,nor f^onc,nor can h ,nor boundlcflc fc*^ 
^ Bui fad rooruUicy orc-fwairs their ^of, §r, 

E i Hov9 

S H AKLE-SP E All $ ' 

How with this rage fhall bjcautic hold a plea, 

Whofe a<5^ion is no ftrong<r then a flower/ { 

O how fliall fummcrs huinry breath hold out, i 

Againft the vvrackfull fiedgc of battring dayes, ; 

When rocks impregnable arc not To ftoute, I 

Nor gates of itecie ib ftrong but tiiuc dccayes? | 

Ofearefull meditation, whecealaclc, ' j 

Shall tinafsbelHevvcll from times chcft lie hid? " \ 

Or what ftrong hand can hold his ivviftfootcbacV, j 

Or who his fpoilc or beautic can forbid.? 

O none^vnlcffe this miracle haue might. 

That in black inckmy loue may ftillfhincbrighu 

TYr'd with all thefe for reftfuU death I cry. 
As to behold defert a bcggcr borne, 
And needie Nothing trimd in iollitic, 
And pureft'faith vnhappily forfworne. 
And gilded honor flianicfuily mifplaft-. 
And maiden vertue rudely ftruinpeted. 
And right perfcilion wrongfully difgrac'd^ 
Andftrength by limping fway difabled, 
And arte made tung-tide by authoritic. 
And Folly (Doiftor-Hkej conrrouling skill. 
And fimple-Truth mifcaide SimpJicitie, 
And captiue-good attending Captainc ill, 

Tyr'd with all thcfcfrom thefe would I be gonci. 

Saue that to dyc^ I Icaue my louc alone. 

AH wherefore with infeflion fhould he liuc, 
And with his prefencc grace impietie, 
TKat finne by him aduantage (hould atchiuc, 
And lace it fclfe with his focietie ? 
Why fhould falfc painting immitate hi« cheeke, 
And fleale dead feeing of his liuing hewf 
Why fhould poorc bcaatic indireftly icckc, 
-R^fes of fhaddiwr,(iqcc hisRofcis-triit? 

Sonnit*. • 

Why Hiould heIiuc,now nliture banckrout is, 

Bcggerd ofblood to blufh through liuely yaincs. 

For Hie hath no cxchcckcr now but hU, 

And proud of many,hucs vpon his gaines? 
O him (lie ftorcs,to fhow what wefth (Vie had. 
In dales long fincc,beforc thcTc laft fo bad. 

THus is his chcekc the map ofdaies out-wornc. 
When beauty iiu'd and dy'ed as flowers do noWp 

Before thcfc baftard fignes of fairc were borne, 

Or durft inhabit on a liuing browf 

Before the gouldcn trcffes of the dead, 

The right of fcpulchcrs,wcre finorne away, 

To liuc a fcond life on fccond head. 

Ere beauries dead fleece made another gay: 

In hiin thofc holy antique howers are fcene. 

Without all fdfc and true. 

Making no fummerofan others greene. 

Robbing no ould to drefle his beauty new. 
And him a? for a map doth Nature ftore, 
Toflicwfaullc Art what beauty v\ as of yore 

T~Hofc parts of thee that the worlds eye doth view, 

-*- Want nothing that the thought ofhearts can mend: ." 
AM tounp(thc voice of foules)giue rhee that end, 
Vctring bare truth,euen fo as foes Commend. 
Their outward thus with outward praife is crownd 

But tliofc fame toungs that giue rhee fo tiiinc owne 
In other accents doe this praife confound 
By feeing farther then the eye hath fhownc. 
They looke into the beauty ofthy mind, 
And that in gucCTc they mcafure by thy deeds, 

TiicnchurU their thoughrs(although their eics were kitidj 
To thy fa-re flower ad the rancke fmell of weeds. 

Rut wiiy thy odor matcheth not thy fliow 
.The folyc is this,that thoudoefl common grow* 

H 3 That 


. 79,. • ■, -.r ■■ 

THat thou are blam*d (nail noc be ^hy dcfc3t, 
For riandcrs markc cucr yet the fairc. 
The ornament ofbcauty is hifpct^, 
A Crow that flics in hcaucns 1 wectefl ayre. 
So thou be good,naiider doth but approue. 
Their worth the greater beeiiig woo d of time. 
For Canker vice thcfweeteft buds doth louc. 
And thou prefent'li a pure rn(lay ined prime. 
Thou haft paft by the ambuth ofyoung diies. 
Either not zCfiyldfir vi^or beeinc charg'd. 
Yet this thy praife cannot be foe thy praifc. 
To tye vp enuy,cucrmorc inlargcd. 
If fome fufpcd^ of ill maskt not thy (how. 
Then thou alone kingdomes of hearts Hiouldft owe/ 

NOe Longer mourne for mc when I im dead. 
Then you fliall hearc the furly fullen bcU 
Glue warning to the world that I am fled 
From this yilc world with vildcft wormcs to dwell: 
Nay if you read this !inc,remcmbcr not. 
The hand that writ it/or I louc ycu To, 
That I in your fweet though ts would be forgot, 
If thinking on rae then fliould make you woe. 
O if|'Ifay])you looke vpon this verfe, 
When I (perhaps) compounded am with clay, 
Do not fo much as my poore name rchcrft; 
But let your louc eucn with my life decay. 

LeaU the wife world Oiould lookc into your mone. 
And mockc you with mc after 1 am gon, 


OLcaft the world fhould taske you to recite, 
xVtut merit liu'd in me that you Hiouldlouf 
After my icath^deare loue^for get me quite, 
F^r you tn mi en nothing worthy proue. 
ViilciTc you yv^uld dcuifcibsof venuou> Jyc, 


To doc more for me then mine ownc dcfcrt^ 
And hang more praifc ^'pon deceafcd I, 
Then nigard truth would wilHngfy impart/ 
O Icaft your true louc may fceme falce in this, 
That you for lone foeake well of me vntruc. 
My name be buried where my body is, 
And Hue no more to Hianie nor me^or you. 
For I am fliamd by that which 1 bring forth* 
And fo (hould you,io loue things nothing worth, 


THat time ofyecare thou maift in me bchotd. 
When yellow leauc$,or none,or few doe htngc 
Vpon thofe boughes which (hake againft the could. 
Bare rn'vvd guiers, where late the fwcct birds fing^ 
In me thou fecft the tui-li^ht of fuch day, 
As after Sun-(et fadeth in the Weft, 
Which by and by blackc night doth take awty. 
Deaths fecond felfe that feals vp all in reft. 
In me thou feeft the glowing of fuch fire. 
That on the afhes of his youth doth lye. 
As the death bed,whereonit muft expire, 
Confum d with that which it w as nurrifhtby. 
This thou perccu'ft, which makes thy louc more ftr-Jfifj 
To louc that well,which thou muft leauc ere long. 

74 ^ 

BVt be contented when that fell areft, 
With out all bayle fliall carry me awty. 
My life hath in this line fomc in tereft. 
Which for mcmor jall (lill with thee (hall ftay. 
When thou rcuew4ilthis,thou doeft reucw. 
The very part was conlecrate to thee. 
The earth can haue but eanh,which is his dutj 
My Spirit is thine the better part of me^ 
So then ihou tuft but loft the dregs of life. 
The pray of w^fmes,my body being dead, 
The cowafd ooBqiicttof.a wretches knife. 

S HAKB'SPfi All S 

To bafc of thcc to be rcmcmbrcd. 

The wonhofthatjis that which it containcs. 
And that is thi<, and thi( with thee rcmaincs. 

O arc you to my tljoughts a^ food to life, 

Or as Tweet fcafon'd (Kevvers are to the ground; 
And for the peace oTyou J hold fuch ftrife, 
As twixc a tnifa and his wealth is found. 
Now proud ^ 9H inioyer,and anon 
Doubting the filching age will ftcale his treafurc, 
Now counting befi so be with you alone, 
Then bcctecd that the world may fee my pleasure* 
Some-time ail ful with feafting on your nghr. 
And by and by clcanc ftarucd for a lookc, 
PofTcfTing or purfuing no delight 
Saue what is had,or muft from you be tooke. 

Thus do I pine and fur fet day by day, 

Or gluttoning.on alijor aii away, 

Hy is my vcrfe fb barren of new pride? 
So far from variation or quickc change? 
Why with the time do I not tglancc afidc 
To oew found n»ethods,and to compounds ftrange? 
Whv wri^felftill aiIone,euer the fame. 
And kecpc inuen tion in a not^d weed. 
Thai euery word doth ahnoft fel my name. 
Shewing their birth^aiid where they did proceed? 
O know fweet loue I al waies wyitc of you. 
And you and louc ate ftili my argument: 
So all my beft is drcflingold words n€W, 
Spending againc what is already Ipcnt: 
For as the Sun ii daily new and old, 
So is my louc ftUl telling what is told, 

A Thy dy all ho w thy pretious mynu Jt« waftc, 


, S O H N 1» T S. 

The f acant Icaiws thy mindcs imprint will bearc. 
And ofthis booke,thii Icamingmaift thou taftc* 
The wrincklcs which thy glaflc will truly (how, 
Ofmouthed graues will giuc thee mcir.orie, 
Tiiou by thy dyalsfliac'y'ftcalikmaiftknpw, 
Times thceuifh progrefTc to ctcrnitie. 
Looke what thy mcmoiic cannot containc, 
Commit to thefc waftc blacks,and thou (halt findc 
Thofe children nurft,deliucrd from thy braine. 
To tnke a new acquaintance of thy mindc. 

Thcfe offices, fo oft as thou wilt looke, 
. Shall profit thee and much inrich thy bookc. 

SO oft haue T iniiok d thee for my Mufc, 
And found fuch faire affilhncein my vcrfir. 
As euery Alien pen hath got my vie. 
And vnder tiiec their poefic diiperic. 
Thine eyc5, that taught the dumbconhighto fing. 
And heauie ignorance aloft to flie, 
Haue added tethers to the learneds wing. 
And giuen grace a double Maicttie. 
Yet be moft proud of that which I compile, 
Whofe influence is thine,and borne of thee. 
In others workes thou dooft but mend the ftile, 
And Arts with thy fwecte graces graced be. 
But thou art all my art,and dooft aduance 
As high as lcarning,my rude ignorance. 


TS/HiKk I alone dtd call vpon thy ayde, 

My verfe alone had all thy gentle grace, 
But now my gracious n umbers are decay dc, 
And my fick Mufe doth giue an other place. 
I grant ( fweet louejthy iouely argument 
Dcferues the trauaile of a worthier pen. 
Yet what of thee thy Poet doth inuent. 
He robs thee of^ana payea it thee againc, 

F He 


He lends thee vertuc,3nd he ftole that word. 
From thy bchauiour,bcautie doth hegiuc » 

And found it in thy chcekc: he can afK>ord • 
No praife to thce,but what in thee doth iiuc. 

Then rhanke him not for that which he doth fav, 
Since what he owes thcc,thou thy fclfc dooft pay, 

OHow r faint when I of you do write. 
Knowing a better Spirit doth vTc your name, 
And in the praife thereof fpends all his mioht. 
To make mc toung-tidc fpeaking of your fame. 
But fince your worrhf'wide as the Ocean is^ 
The humble as the proudeft faiie doth beare, 
My fawficbarke ^inferior farre to \n$) 
On your broad mainc doth wilfully appesre. 
Your rhalloweft helpc will hold mc rp a floate, 
Whilfthc vpon yourfbundleflc dccpc doth ride. 
Or ( being wrackt ^ I am a woithlcfTc bote. 
Me of tall building.and of goodljppride. 
Then If he thriue and I be caft away, 
The worft was this,my louc was my decay, 

OR r fhall liue your Epitaph to make. 
Or you furuiuc when I in earth am rotten. 
From hence your memory death cannot take, 
Although in me each part wiH be forgotten. 
Your name from hence immortall life Oiall hauc. 
Though I ('once gone) to aU the world muft dye. 
The cartli can yeeld me but a common graue. 
When you intombed in mens eyes fhall lye. 
Your monument fhall be my gentle vcrfe. 
Which eyes not yet created fhall ore-read. 
And touBgs to be, your beeing ftiall rehearfr. 
When all the breatber»oflhi8 world are dead, 
You ftill fhall liue (fuch yertuchjth my Pen) 
Where breath moft brctths,euen in the itouthj of men. 

I grant 


I Grant thou wcrt not married to my M jfc. 
And therefore ma'tef) without attaint orc-look€ 
The dedicated words which writers vfe 
Of their faire fwhiefljblcflfing cuery booke. 
Thou art as faire in knowledge as in hew, 
Findirrg thy worth a limmit paft my praife, 
And therefore art inforc'd to feeke anew. 
Some frcfher ftampe of the time bettcriirg daycs. 
And do fo loiie,yet when they hauc deuifde, 
What ftrained touches Rhethorick can lend. 
Thou ttufy fairCjWcrt truly fimpathizde. 
In true plainc words ,by thy true teUing friend. 
And their grofle painting might be better vf'd. 
Where cheekes need bIood,in ihcc it is abufd. 

INeuer faw that you did painting need. 
And therefore to your faire no painting fcl^ 
1 found ( or thought I found) you did exceed. 
The barren tender of a Poets debt : 
And therefore haue I flept in your report. 
That you your felfc being extant well might fliow. 
How fane a moderne quill doth come to fhort. 
Speaking of worth.what worth in you doth grovf^ 
This filence for my finne you did impute, 
Which (hall be moft my glory being dombc,' 
For I impaire not beautie being mute, 
When others would giue life,and bringa tombe. 
There iiucs more life in one of youi faire eyes, 
Then both your Poets can in praifc dcuifc, 
XX/'Ho is it that fayes moft,v\ hich can fay more. 
Then this rich pra!fe,thatyou alone,are you. 
In whole confine immured is the ftore. 
Which fhould example where your cquall grew, 
Lcane penurie within that Pen doth dwell, 

F ft That 


That to his fubicfl lends not fome (iTjall glory, 

But he that writes ofyoujifhc can icll, 

That you are yoa,fo dignifies his ftory. 

Let him but coppy what in you is writ. 

Not making worfe what nature made fo cleere, 

And fuch a counter-part fhall fame his wit. 

Making his (iilc admired cuery where. 

Yoy to your bcautious blefifings addc a cuiTe, 
Being fond onpraife^which makes yourpraifes worfe. 

MY toung-tidc Mufe in manners holds her ftill, 
While comments of your praifc richly compil'd, 

Rcfcrue their Charafter with goulden quil). 

And precious phrafe by all the Mijfcs fifd. 

I thinke good thoughts, whilfl other write good wordcs. 

And like vnlcttcrcd clarke liill crie Amen, 

To euery Hiiiine that able fpirit affords. 

In poliOu forme of well refined pen. 

Hearing you praifd,! fny 'tis fo, 'tis true. 

And to the mort of praiie adde fomc-thing more. 

But that is in my thought,whofe lone to you 

(Though words come hind-moft^hoids his ranke before. 
Then otherSjfor the breath of words refpedt, 
Me for my dombe thoughts/peaking in effedl. 

"Vf VTAs it the proud full faile of his great verfe. 
Bound for the prize of (all to precious) you. 

That did my ripe thoughts in my braine inhearce, 

Making their tombe the wombe wherein they grew? 

Was it his fpirit, by fpirits taught to write, 

Aboue a mortal! pitch,that ftruck me dead ? 

No,neithcr he,nor his compters by nighc 

Giuing him avde,my verfe aftonifhcd. 

He nor that affable familiar ghoft 

Which nightly gulls him with intelligence, 

As Yi<^ors of my filcnce cannot boaP, 

I was 



I WIS not fick of any fcarc from thence. 

But when your counti nance fild vphfs line. 
Then lackt I niatter,that infcebled mine, 

F Are well thou art too dearc for my poflcffin*^ 
And like enongh thou knowft thy e^imate. 
The Chaiter ofthy worth giues thee relcafing: 
My bonds in thee arc all determinate. 
For how do 1 hold thee but by thy granting. 
And for that ritches where is my defcruing? 
• The caufe of this faire gutft in mc is wanting. 
And fo my pattent back againc is fweruing. 
Thy felfc thou gau'ft,thy owne worth then not knowing. 
Or mce to whom thou gau'fl it.elfe miftaking, 
So thy great guift vpon mifprifion growing, 
Comes home againe,on better iudgcmcnt making* 
Thus haue 1 had thee as a dreame doth flatter. 
In flecpc a King,bui waking no fuch matter. 
TZWHen thou flialt be difpodc to fee me light, 
Vpon thy fide,againli my fclfe ile fight, 
Andprouc thccviftuous,though thou art forfwornc: 
With mine ovrnc weakenefle being bcft acquainted, 
Vpon thy part I can fct downe a ftory 
Of faults concealdjwhcrein I am^attainted : 
That thou in loofing mcfhali win much glory* 
And I by this wil be a gainer too, 
Forbending all my loumg rhoughts on thee. 
The iniuries that to my fclfe I doe. 
Doing thee vantage,dublc vantage me. 
Such is my loue,to thee 1 io belong. 
That for thy right,my felfc will beare all wrong, 

SAy that thou didft forfake mee for fbmc fait. 
And I will commcnc vpon that o£fcnco^ 

F| Spcak< 


Spcaie of my lamcneflTc, and I ftraight will halt; 

Againi^ thy reasons making no defence. 

Thoii can{^ not(^iouc)ciirgr3cc mc halfe fo ill. 

To fee a forme vpon defircd chan£;c. 

As ile ivy fclfe dirgrace,kno wing thy wil, 

I will acquaintance ftrangk and looke Grange; 

Be abfent from thy vvalkes and in my tongue, 

Thv fweet beloued name no more fhall dwell, 

Lcait I(too much prophane)niouid do it wrongc: 

And haplicofourcld acquaintance t el!. 
For thec,againft my fclfe ile vow debate, 
For I muft ncrc louc him whom thou doft hate. 

THcn hatcme when thou v.ilt, if 
Now w hile the world is bent my deeds to croiTe^ 
loyne with the (pight of fortune, make me bow. 
And doc not drop in for an after lofle.- 
Ah doe notjwhcn my heart hath fcapte this forrow^ 
Come in therereward of a conquerd woe, 
Giucnota windy night arainic morrow^ 
To linger out a purpofd ouer-throw. 
If thou wilt leaue mc, do not Icaue me laft, 
When odierpettie griefeshaue done their ipight. 
But in the onfet ftall I tafic 
At firft the very worfl offortunes might. 
And other ftraines of woe, which novv' fceme woe, 
Compar'd with loflc of thec,w ill not fceme fo, 


SOme glory in their birth,fome in their skill. 
Some in their wealth, /bme in their bodies force. 
Some in their garments though nev«'-fangled ill: 
Some in their Hawkes and Houndi.fome m their Horfc* 
And cuery humor hath his adiun^flpleafure, 
Whercm it findes a ioy abouc the reft. 
But thefe pcrticulers are nor my meafure. 
Ail dicfc I better in one gcaeraiibeft. 


Thy loue Is bitter then high bir'h to me, 
H'f her then \vealch,proudcrihcn garments coft, 
Ohmrc dehght then Hawkcs or Horfcsbee: 
And hailing chec,of all mens pride I heart. 
Wretched i:i this alone, that chou maift take, 
A!i this away^and me mofi wretched make, 

TDVt doe thy vvorft to ftca'c thy feJfc away, 

■*-^For tearme ofiife thou art alTured mine. 

And life no longer then thy loue will ftay. 

For it depends vpon that loue of thine. 

Then need I not to feare the worrt of wrongs, 

When in the Icaft of them my life hath end, 

I fee, a better ftatc to me belongs 

Then thar.vN hich on thy humor doth depend. 

Thou canit not vex m.e with inconfta:-.: aiindc, 

Since that my life on thy reuok doth lie. 

Oh what a happy title do I Rnds , 

Happy to haue thy loue, happy to die- 
but whats Co blclTcd faire that fcarcs no blot, 
Thou maift be filce, aon yet I kiicvv it not. 

SO fhall I line/uppohng thou art true, 
Like a decciued husband fo loues face, 
May ftill fecme loue to mCjthough alter'd new; 
Thy lookes with rae, thy heart in other place* 
For their can Hue no hatred in thine eye. 
Therefore in that 1 cannot know thy change. 
In manics lookes,the falce hearts hiftory 
Is writ in moods and frouncs and wrincklcs ftrang?. 
But hcauen in f hy creation did decree, 
That in thy face fweet loue fbould cucr dwell, 
What crc thy thought^, or thy hearts workings be, 
Thv 'ookes fhouid nothing thence, but fwcctneffc tell. 
How like Eaues apple doth thy beauty grow. 
If thy I'A'cct ycrujc anfwcrc not thy /hovv, 



THcy that hauc powrc to hurt.tnd will doe none. 
That doc not do the thing,thcy mort do fliowc, 
Who mouing othcrs.are thcmfelucs as ftone, 
Vnmooucd,could,and to temptation flow: 
They rght'y do inherrit hcaucns graces. 
And husband natures ritcbcs from cxpcncc. 
They are the Lords and owners oftheir ftccf, 
OthcrSjbut ftewards oftheir excellence: 
The fommers flowre is to the fommer fweet. 
Though to it fclfe,it onely liue and die. 
But if that flowre with bafe infc(ftion mcetc. 
The bafeft weed out-braues his dignity: 

For fvveeteft things fawrelt by their deedcs, 
Lillies thai fefter, fmell far worfe then weeds. 

HOvv fweet and louely doft thou make the (hamc. 
Which like a canker in the fragrant Rofc, 
Doth fpot the beautie of thy budding name? 
Oh in what fweets doeft thou thy fumes inclofc! 
That tongue that tells theflory of thy daie«, 
faking laic iuious comments on thy fport) 
Cannot difpraife,but in akinde ofpraifc. 
Naming thy name, blcflcs an ill report. 
Oh what a manfion hauc thofe vices got. 
Which for their habitation chofc out ihcc, 
Where beauties vailc doth couer cucry blot, 
And all things turncs tofaire that cies can fee! 
Take hced(^deare heart)of this large priuiledge. 
The hardcft knife ill vCd doth loofe his edge. 
COme fay thy fault is youth,fomc wantonefle, 
^Somc fay thy grace is youth and gentle fport. 
Both grace and faulcs arc lou'd of more and leflc: 
Thou makft faults cracck,that to thee rcfort: 
As oa the finger ota throned Quccnc, 


S O N N 1 T J, 

The bafcft Icwdl wil be well eftecm'd: 
So arc thofe errors that in thee arc fecnc, 
To truths tranHatcdjand for true things deem d. 
How many Lambs might the fternc Wolfe bctrajr, 
iriikc a Lambc he could his lookcs tranflatc. 
How many gazers mighlt thou lead away, 
If thou wouldft vfe the ftrength of all thy ftate? 
But doe not fo,I loue thee in fuch fort, 
As thou being mine,niinc is thy good report, 


HOw like a Winter hath my abfcncc beene 
From theCjthepIcafurc of the fleeting yeare? 
What freezings haue I felt, what darke daicsfccne?' 
What old Decembers barentfle cucry where? 
And yet this time remou'd was fommers time. 
The teeming Autumne big with ritch increafe, 
Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime. 
Like widdovved wombes after their Lords deceafe: 
Yet this aboundantiflue feem'd tome. 
But hopeofOrphans,and vn-fathered fruitc. 
For Sommcr and his pleafures waite on thee. 
And thou away,the very birds arc mute. 
Or if they fing,tis with fo dull a chcerc. 
That Icaues looke pale,dreading the Winter* nccrc, 

FRom you hauc I bccnc abfcnt in the Spring, 
When proud pide Aprill (drcft in all his trim) 
Hath put a fpirit of youth in eucry thing: 
That hcauie Saturm laught and leapt with him. 
Yet nor the laics of birds,nor the fweei (mell 
Of different flowers in odor and in hew. 
Could make me any fummers ftcry tell: 
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew: 
No; did I wonder at the Liliics white, 
Norpraife the decpc vermiliion in the Ro(c, 
They wcare but fwect^but figures of delight: 

G Drawne 

Shake-sp e ab et, 

DrawHi; after you, you pattevne of afl iliofc. 
Yetfcerri'd it Winter ftill,and you away, 
As with your ihaddow 1 withihefcdidplav. 

He forward violet thus did T chide, 
Sweet thcefe whence didftiheufteale thy fwcet that 

Ifnot from my loues breath, the purple pride, (!md$ 

Which on thy foft checkc for complexion dwells? 

In my loues vcines thou hafl too grofejy died. 

The Lillic I condemned for thy hand, 

And buds of maricrom had ftolne thy haire. 

The Rofes fearefully on thorncs did ftand, 

Ourblurtiing lliame_an other white diipaire: ' 

A third norrcd,nor whitc,had ftolne of both, 

And to hisrobbry had annexrthy breath. 

But for his theft in pnde of all his growth . 

AiVengfull canker catehimvp to deGch. 
More flowers I jnoted,yet I none could fee. 
But fwcetjor culler it had ftolne from thee. 


'\7'\7 Here art thou Mufe that thou forgetft fo long, 

To fpeake of that w hich giues thee all thv mioht? 

Spendft thou thy furie on fomc worthleffe fon-^^e' 

Darkning thy powre to lend bafe iubie<5ls light, 

Returne forgetfull Mufe,and ftraight redeeme 

In gentle numbers time fo idely fpent. 

Sing to the eare that doth thy laies efteeme. 

And giucs thy pen both skill and argument. 

Rife rcfty Mufc,my loues fweet face furuay, 

]f time hauc any wrincle grauen therej , 

If any,be a Satire to decav. 

And make times ipoiles dilpifed euery where. 
Giue my loue fame fafter then time wafts life. 
So thou prcuenft his fieth.and crooked knife, 

OH truani Mufc what fh»lbe thy amends, 

So NNn YS. 

For thy ncglc(5l of truth in beauty cji'fi? 
Bo:h truth and beauty on my loue depends.* 
So dofi thou too, and th.ereiii d'pnifi'd: 
Make anfvverc MufcjWilt thou not ha^Jy faic, 
Tru:h needs no collour with his coiJourfixt, 
Beaucic no penfell^bcauties truth to lay: 
But beftisbff^^ifneuer intcrmixt. 
Becaufe he needs no praife.u ilt thou be dumb? 
Excufc not filence fo,for't Hes in thee, 
To make him much out-!iue a gilded tombe: 
And to be praiid ofagcs yet to be. 

Then do thy office Mufe, I teach tnec how, 
To make him fccme long hen(;e,as he fliowes now. 

MY loue is ftrengthned though more weakc in Tec- 
r loue not lefTejthogh IcfTc the {how appeare, (mine 
That loue is marchandiz'd/vvhofe ritch eftceming. 
The owners tongue doth pubhfh euery where. 
Our loue v< as ncw,and then but in the ipring, 
When I was wont to greet it with my laies. 
As /'^//(UW^/Zinfumrncrs front doth fingc. 
And Itopi !iis pipe in growth of riper daics: 
Not that the furr.mer is lefie picafant now 
Then when hermournefuUhimnsdidhufh thenjoht 
But that wild mufick burthtns euery bow, 
And fvveef s growne common Joofe their deare delight. 
Therefore hke her, I fomc-cimc hold iny tongue: 
Becaufe 1 would nocdull you with my fonc^c. 

A Lack what pouerty my Miife brings forth, 
Thathauingfuch askope to {how her pride. 
The argument all bare is ofmorc worth 
Then when it hath my added praifc befidc. 
Oh blame me not if 1 no more can write! 
Lookc in your glafle and there appeares a face, 
That oucr-goes my blunt inuention quite. 
Dulling my iinc$,and doing me difgrace. 

O 2 Were 

S H.MCE*SP « AR B 5». 

Were it not finTull ftrimng to mend. 

To marrc the fubicifl that bcForc was well; 

For to no other paflc my vcrfes tend, 

Then ofyour graces and your gifts to tell. 
And mqf ctnuch more then jn my yerfe can fir, 
Y«ur ownc glaflc (howcs you,whcn you lookc in it. 

TO mc faire friend yau neuer can be ol<J; 
For as you were when firft your eye I cyde, 
Such fcemcs your beautie ftilI:Threc Winters colde, 
Hauc from the forrcfts Oiooke three fummers pride. 
Three beautious fprings to yellow Amnmne tum*d. 
In proceffe of the feafons hauc I fecne, 
Three Aprill perfumes in three hot lunes burn'd. 
Since firrt I faw you frcfh which yet are grccnc, 
Ah yet doth beauty like a Dy all hand, 
Stcale from his figurc^and no pace perceiu'd. 
So your fweetc hcw,whi*ch mc thinkes ftill doth ftamv 
Jiath motion,and mine eye may be deceaued. " 
Forfcareof whichjhcare this thou age vnbred. 
Ere you were borne was beauties fummer dead, 

LEt aot my louc be cal'd IdolatriCj 
Nor my b«loued as an Idoll fhow. 
Since all alike my fongs and praifesbc 
Toonc,ofonc,rtillfuch,and euer fo. 
Kindc is my loue to day,to morrow kinde. 
Still conrtant in a wondrous excellence. 
Therefore my verfc to conftancie confin'de, 
Gne thing cxprcfTmg^leaues out difference, 
Faire,kinde,and irue,is all my argument, 
Faire,kindc and true,varrying to other words, 
And in this change is my inuention (penty 
Three thcams in one,which wondrous fcopc affords* . 
Faire,kinde,and true,haue often liu'd alone. 
Which three till aovv,ncuCTkept fcatc in one. 




Hen iivihc Chronicle ofwaftcd time, 
I fee difcriptions of the faircft wights, 
And bcautie making bcautifull old rime, 
In praifcofLadiesdead.andloucly Knights, 
Tften in the blazon of fwcet beauties beft, 
Of hand,of footCjOf lip,of eyc,of brow, 
I fee their antique Pen would hauc exprcft, 
Euen fuch a beauty as you mniflcr now. 
So all their praifes are but prophefies 
Of this our time,all you prefiguring, 
And for they look'd but with dcuining eyes, 
They had not (till enough your worth to fing : 
For we which now behold thcfe prcfent dayes, 
Haue eyes to wonder^but lack toungs to praife. 

NOt mine ownc feares,nor the prophettck foulc. 
Of the wide world.dreaming 6n things to come^ 
Can yet the leafeofmy true loue controule, 
Suppofde as forfeit to a confin'd doome. 
ThcmortallMoone hath her cclipfe indui'de. 
And the fad Augurs mock their ovvne prei'age, 
Incertenties now crowncthcm-fclues affur'dc. 
And peace proclaimes Oliues of cndleffe age. 
Now with the drops of this moft balmic time. 
My loue lookes frcfh.and death to me rubfcribes, 
Since fpight of iiim Jle liue in this poore rime, 
While he infults ore dull and fpeachlcfle tribes. 
And thou in this fhalt finde thy monument. 
When tyrants crcfts and tombs of braffc are fpcnt. 
\ /X/Hat's in thcbrainc ihatlnck may character, 
^ ^ Which hath not figur'd to thee my true fpirit, 
What's new to fpeake,what now to regifter. 
That may cxpreflc my loue,or thy dcarc pierit ? 
Nothing fwcet boy.but yet like prayers diuine, 

G 3 Imuft 


I muft cich day fay ore the rery fiine, 

Counting no old thing old,thou mine,! thine, 

Euen as >vhcn firfi 1 hallowed thy rjireuamc. 

So that cccrmll louc in loucs frc(h cafe, 

Waighes not the duft andiniuryof age, 

Nor giucs to neceiTary wrinckles place. 

But makes antiquitie for aye his p«ge, 

Finding the firlt conceit oflouc there bred. 
Where time and outward forme would (hew it dead, 

ONeucr fay that I was talfc of hean, 
Though abfence fecm'd my flame to qualliHc, 
As eafie might I from my felfe depart. 
As from my foule which in thy breft doth lye : 
Thatismyhomeof loue.iflhaueiang'd. 
Like him that trauels I returne againe, 
luft to the time,not with the time exchang'd, 
So that my felfc bring water for my i^aine, 
Neuerbeleeue though in my nature raignd. 
All frailties that bcficge all kindes of blood. 
That it could fo p' epoftcrouflie be ftain'd, 
To leaue for nothing all thy fumme of good : 

For nothing this wide Vniucrlc I call, 

Sauc thou my Rofe,in it thoy art my all. 

A Las 'tis truCjl haue gone here md there. 
And made my felfe a motley to the vie w , 
Gor'd mine own thoughts, fold cheap what is moft dcare, 
Made old offences of afFc(5lions new, 
Moft true it is,that I haue lookton truth 
Afconce and ftrangcly: But by all aboue, 
7 hcfc blenches gauc my heart an other youth, 
And worfc cifaies prou d thee my bcft of loue. 
Now all is done.haue what fliali haue no end. 
Mine appetite I neucrmore will grin'de 
On newer proofe,to trie an older friend, 
A God in louc,to whom 1 am confin d. 



Then glue mc welcome, next my hcaucn the beft, 
Eucn to thy pure and moft moft louing brcft, 

OFor my fake doe you widi fortune chide. 
The guiltie goddcfle of my harmful! deed5, 

That did not better for my life prouide, 

Then publick meanes which publick manners breeds. 

Thence comes it that my namercceiues a brand, 

And almoft thence my nature is fubdu'd 

To what it workes in, like the Dyers hand, 

Pitty me then^and vvifli I were renu'de, 

WhiKl like a willing pacient I will drinke. 

Potions of Eyfellgainftmy flronginfecftion. 

No bitternefle that I will bitter thinke. 

Nor double pcnnancc to correct corre^^ion. 
Pittic me then deare friend,and I affui e yce, 
Euen that your pittic is enough to cure mee. 

YOur loue and pittic doth th'impreflion filf , 
Which vulvar fcandall ftampt vpon my brow, 
For w hat care I \^ ho calles mc well or ill. 
So you ore-greerK: my bad,my good alow? 
You are my All the worId,and I muft ftriuc, 
To know my fliames and praifes from your toungfj 
None clfc to me^nor I to none aliite. 
That my rtecl'd fence or changes right or wrong. 
In fo profound Abifme I throw all care 
Of others voyces,that my Adders fence, 
To cryttick and to flatterer flopped are: 
Marke how with my negle(^ J doe di/pcnce. 
You are fo ilrongly in my purpofe bred. 
That all the world bcfides me thinkes y'are dead, 

Vince I left yoa-,mine eye is in my minde. 

And that which gcuernes me to goe about, 
Doth part his fuo^iioOjand ispartly blind^ 



Secmcs fccing,but eflfe<ftuaJIy isout-* 
For it no forme dcliucrs to the heart 
Orbird,offlowre,or fhapc which it doth lade, 
Ofhis quick obic<5ls hath the mindc nq part. 
Nor his ownc vifion houlds what it doih catch: 
For if it fee the rud'fl or gcntlcft fight, 
Thcmoft fvveet-fauoror dcformedft creature, 
The mountainc,or the fea,the day,or night: 
The Croe,or Doue,it fhapcs them to your feature. 
Incapable ofmorc replcar,with you. 
My moft true minde thus maketh mine rntiuc. 

OR whether doth my minde being crown'd with you 
D jinke vp the monarks plague this flattery ? 
Or whether fhall I fay mine cie faith true, 
And that your loue taught it this Alcnmief 
To make of monfters,and things indigeft, 
Such cherubines as your fwcet felfc relcmblc, 
Creating euery bad a pcrfeft bcft 
As faft as obiefts to his beames aflcmble; 
Oh tis the firft,tis flatry in my feeing, 
And my great minde moft kingly drinkes it vp. 
Mine eie well knowes what with hisguftis grccing, 
And to his pallat doth prepare the cup. 
If it be poifon'djtis the IcfTer finnc. 
That mine eye loucs it and doth firft beginnc, 

THofe lines that I before haue writ doc lie, 
Euen thofc that faid I could not loucyou dccrcr, 
Ye: then my iudgement knew no realbn why, 
My moft full flame fhould afterwards burne clecrcr. 
But rcckcning time,whofe milliond accidents 
Crcepe in twixtvowes,and change decrees of Kings, 
Tan facred beautic,blunt the fharp'ft intents, 
Diuert ftrong mindes to th* courfc of altring things: 
Alas why fearing of times liranic. 


SONNI r $. 

Might I not then Tay now I lou€ you bcft, 

When I VI as ccrtaincorcin-ccrtainty. 

Crowning theprcfent,doubiing of the reft: 
Loue is a Babe , then might 1 not fay (o 
To giuc full growth to that which ftill doth grow, 

LEt me not to the marriage of true mindcs 
Admit impcdimcntSjloue is not lone 
Which alters whert it alteration findes, 
Or bends With the remouer to remoue. 
O is an cucr fixed marke 
That lookcs on tempcfts and is neuer fhakcn; 
It is the ftar to euery wandring barkc, 
Whofc worths vnknowne,al though his higth be taken. 
Lou's not Times foole,though rolie lips and cheeks 
Within his bending ficklcs compafle come, 
Loue alters not with his brcefc houres and weckci. 
But bcares it out euen to the edge of doome; 
If this be error and vpon me proucd, 
I neuer writ,nor no man euer loucd. 

ACcufcmethuSjthatlhauefcantcd all. 
Wherein I fhould your great deferts repay, 
Forgot vpon your deareft loue to call. 
Whereto al bonds do tie me day by day. 
That I haue frequent binne with vnknown mindcs. 
And giuen to time your owne deare purchafd right. 
That 1 haue hoyftcd failc to al the windes 
Which fhould tranfport me farthcft from your fight. 
Booke both my wilfulnefle and errors downe. 
And oniuftproofc furmile,accumilate, 
Bring me within the leuel of your frowne. 
But {Koote not at me in your wakened hate: 
Since my appeale faies I did ftriuc to proouc 
The conftancy and virtue of your loue 

H 1x8 




Ike as to make our appctitci more kecnc 

Wiih eaf'er compounds we our pallat vrgc. 

As to preuent our malladics vnfecnc, 
We ficken to fhun fickncflc when vs'e purge. 
Eucn (o being full of your ncrc cloying fwcctncflc. 
To bitter la wees d id I frame my feeding; 
And fickc of weUfarc found a kind of mcctneflc. 
To be difeafd ere that there was true needing. 
Thus pollicie in loue t'anticipatc 
The ills that werc,not grew to faults affured. 
And brought to medicine a healthfull ftatc 
Which rancke of goodnclfc would by ill be cured. 
But thence I learnc and find the leflbn true, 
Drugs poy foa him that fo fell fickc of you. 

W7 Hat potions hauc I drunkc of S^rw* tearw 
^ ^ Diftil'd from Lymbecks foulc as hell within. 
Applying fcares to hopes;and hopes to fcarcs. 
Still I'oohng when 1 faw my fclfe to win? 
What wretched errors haih my heart committed, 
Whilil it hach thought it fclfe fo bleffed neucr? 
How hauc mine eies out of their Sphcarcs bene fitted 

In the diOraaion of this madding tcuci? 

O benefit of ill, now I find true 

That better is, by euil ftill made better. 

And ruin'd loue when it is built anew 

Growes fairer then at firft,more ftrong,far greater. 
So J rcturne rebukt to my content, 
And gaine by ills tlirifc more then I haue fpent* 

THat you were once rnkind be-friends mce now. 
And for that forrow , which I then diddc feclc, 
Ncedes muft I yndcr mv traafgrcflion bow, ^ . 
Vnlcfle my Nerucs were braffc or hammered fteelC 
For if you were by my vnkindncffe (hakcn 



As] by yours , y'haiicpaft a hcHofTime, 

And I a tyrant luue no lca(ure taken 

I'o waigh how once 1 fiiifcred in your crime. 

O that O'.r night of wo might haiic rcmcmbrcd 

My dccpcft hard triicrorrovvhits. 

And foone to you,as you to mc then tendrcd 

The hun)bIelaluc,which\\oundcd bofomcshts! 
But that your trcfpalfe now becomes a fee, 
Mine raiiloms yours,and yours inuft ranlbmc mee, 

TI^ better to be vile then vile cfteemed, 
When not to be,receiues reproach of being. 
And the iult plcafure Ioft,which is fo deemed. 
Not by our fcchng.but by others feeing. 
For why fliould others falfe aduherat eyes 
Giue falutation to my fportiue blood? 
Or on my frailties \\ hy are frailer fpies; 
Which in their wils count bad what I think good? 
Noe,l am that I am.and they that leucU 
At my abufcs^rctkon vp thc:r ovsne, 
1 may be ftraight though they ihem-fclucs be bcucl 
By their rancke ihoughtes,my deedesmurt notbclhovvn 

VnlflTe this generall euiU they maintainc. 

All men are bad and in their badncfle raignc. 

TThy guifr^tliy tables,are within my brainc 
Full charac^tcrd w uh lafting memory. 
Which fhall abouc thai idle rancke rcmainc 
Beyond all date eucn to eternity. 
Or at the Icaft.lo lon_:^ as braine and heart 
Haue faculticby nature tofubfift, 
Til each to raz.*d obliuion yecKl his part 
Of thee,thy record neucr can be milt: 
Thar poorc retention could not fo much hold, 
Nor need I tallies thy dcarc louc to skore. 
Therefore to eiuc thcnii fiom mc was 1 bold, 

Ha T© 


To tru(} thofc taWcs that rcccauc thcc more, 
To kccpe an adiunckt to remember thcc, 
Were to import forgetfuhicflc in mcc. 

NO ! Time, thou fhalt not boft that 1 doc change, 
Thy pyramyds buy It vp with newer might 
To me arc nothing nou<ll,nothing fttangej 
They arc but drerfings ofa former fight! 
Our dates are breefc,and therefor vvc admire, 
What thou doft foyft vpon vs that is ould, 
And rather make them borne to our defire, 
Then thinke that we before hauc heard them touldt 
Thy regifters and thee I both defie. 
Not wondring at the prefcnt,nor the paft. 
For thy records.and what we fee doth lye. 
Made more or \cs by thy continual! haft: 
' This I doc vow and this (hall cuer be, 
I will be true dilpight thy fyeth and thcc. 


YFmydearelouc wcrcbutthechildeofftate, 
It might for fortunes baftcrd be vnfathered. 

As fubie<ft to times louc,or to times hate. 

Weeds among weeds,or flowers with flowers gatherd. 

No it was buyldcd far from accident, 

It fuffers not in fmilinge pomp,nor falls 

Vnder the blow of thralled difcontent. 

Whereto tjjmuiting time our fafhion calls: 

It teares not polky that Heritickfy 

Wnich workes on leafesof fhort numbrcd howerr, 

But all alone ftands hugely pollitick, 

That it nor growes with hcat,nor drownes with fhowres. 
To this I witnes call the folcs of time. 
Which die forgoodnes,who haucliudforcdme. 

\7"\J'Ex\ ought to me I bore the canopy. 

With my extern the outward hoiwring. 



Or layd great bafcs for eternity, 
Which proues ir.ore fliort then waft or ruining? 
Hauc I not fcenc dv\ellcrs on forme nud fauor 
Lofe all, and more by paying too much rent 
For compound fweet;Forgoing fimplc fouor, 
Pittifull thrillers in their gazing fpent. 
Noe,Ier me be obfequious in thy heart, 
And take thou my oblacion,poorc but free. 
Which is not mixt with feconds, knows no art. 
But mutual 1 render, oncly me for thee. 

Hence,thou fubbornd/»/l?rwfr, a trew fbulc 
When moft impeacht,{f ands leaft in thy controulc. 
/"X Thou my lonely Boy w ho in thy power, 
^^Docft hould times fickle glairc,his {ickle,howcr? 
Who haft by wayning growne,and therein fliou'ft, 
Thy louers withering, as thy fwect felfc grow'ft. 
If Naturc(foueraine mifteres ouer wrack) 
As thou goeft onwards ftill will plucke thee backc, 
Shekccpcs thee to this purpofe,that her skill. 
May time difgrace,and wretched mynuitkill. 
Yctfearc her O thou minnion ofherpleafurc. 
She may detaine,but notftillkccpehcrtrefurcl 
Her v^«^/r^(though delaydjanfwcr'd muftbe. 
And her Qutctm is to render thee. 
( ) 

( ) 


IN the ould age blacke was not counted fairc, 
Or if it weare it bore not beauties name; 
But now is blacke beauties fucceffiuc heire, 
And Beautic fl-indcrd with a baftard fliamc, 
For fince each hand hath put on Natures power. 
Fairing the foule w ith Arts faulfe borrow'd face. 
Sweet beauty hath no name no holy boure, 

H I Therefore 


Tiicreforc my Miftcrfle eyes arc Raucn blackc, 

Her eyes To rutcd,and they mourners Tecme, 

At fuch who not borne faire no beauty lack, 

Slandring Creation with a falfe eiteeme. 

Yet fo they mourne becomming ofihcir woe. 
That cuery toung faics beauty (hould lookc fo. 


HOw oft when thou my mufike mufike playft, 
Vpon that blcfTed wood whofe motion founds 
With thy fweet fingers when thou gently fwayd, 
The wiry concord that mine eare confounds, 
Do I enuie thofe lackes that nimble leape. 
To kiffe the tender inward of thy hand, 
Whilft tny poore hps which fhould that haruc 1 reapc, 
Ac rhe woods bouldnes by checblufhing ftand. 
To be fo likled they would cnangc their llace. 
And ficuation with thofe dancing chips, 
Ore whome their fingers waike with gentle gate. 
Making dead wood more bleft then liuing lips, 
Since faulie lackes fo happy ari in this, 
Giue thera their fi;igers,mc thy lips to kiffe. 

TH'expencc ofSpirit in a wafte offhamc 
Is luli in adion,and till a;5^ion , luit 

Is periurd,murdrous,bIouddy full of bl ame, 

Sauage,extreame,rude,ciucl],not to trult, 

Inioyd no fooner but difpifed ttraight, 

Paft reafon hunted, and no fooner had 

Part reafbn hated as a fwoUowed bayr, 

Oil purpofe layd to make the taker mid. 

Made In purfut and in poflefTion Co, 

Had,hauing,andin qucrt,to haue extreanie, 

A bliflfe in proofc and proud and very wo. 

Before a ioy propofd behind a drcame. 

All this the world well kno wes yet none kno vves welli 
ToUma the hcaucn chat leads men to this hell. 




MY Miftrcs eyes arc nothing like the Sunrf, 
C urrall is farrc more red, then her lips red, 
If fno\\ be ^^ hite w hy then her brclU arc dun: 
]f haires be v icrs,b!ack w icrs grow on her head: 
I haue fcene Rcfes d2iriaskt,rcci and vs hit^. 
But no fuch Rofcs fee I in her cheekcs, 
And in fome perfumes is there more delight. 
Then in the breath that from my Mi fires rceket. 
) louc to heare her fpeakc,yet well I know, 
That Muficke hath a farre more pleafing found; 
I graunt I ncuer fav a goddcffe goc, 
My MiHres when ilicc v\ alkcs treads on the ground. 

And yet by hcauen I thinkc my louc as rare. 

As any flic bcli'd with falfe compare. 

THou art as tiranous/o as thou art. 
As thofe w hole beauties proudly make tlicm crucll; 
For well thou knovv'ft to my dcare doting hart 
Thou art thelaiicft and moft precious lewell. 
Yet in good faith feme fay that thee behold. 
Thy face hath not the power to make loue grone; 
To fay they erre,l dare not be fo bold. 
Although I fweare it to my felfc alone. 
And to be fure that is not falfe I fweare 
A thoufand giones but thinking on thy face, 
One on anothers necke do witneffe bcarc 
Thy blacke is fairefl in my iudgements place. 

Jn nothing art tliou blacke faue in thy deed*, 
And thence this flaunder as I thinke proceeds, 

Hine eies I !oue,and they as pittying me. 
Knowing thy heart torment me with difdaiflc, 

Haue put on black,and louing mourners bee, 

Looking vvith pretty ruih vpon my pain*. 


S H A K E-S P B A R B S 

And truly not the morning Sun ofHcaueii 
Better becomes the gray checks ofth' Eaft, 
Nor that full Starre that v(hers in the Eauca 
Doth halfc that glory to the fober Weft 
As thofc two njorning eyes become thy face: 
O let it then as well befecmc thy heart 
To mournc for me fincc mourning doth thee grace. 
And fute thy pitty like in cucry part. 
Then will I fwearc beauty her felfc is blacke, 
And all they foulc that thy complexion lackc. 

BEfhrcw that heart that makes my heart to groanc 
For that decpc wound it giucs my friend and mc; 
I'ft not y nough to torture me alone, 
But flaue to Oaucry my fwect'ft friend muft be. 
Me from my felfe thy cruell eye hath taken, 
And my next felfe thou harder haft ingroffcd, 
Of him,my felfe,and thee I am forfaken, 
A torment thrice three-fold thus to be crofled : 
Prifon my heart in thy fteele bofomes warde. 
But then my friends heart let my poore heart bale, 
Who ere keepes me,let my heart be his garde, 
Thou canft not then vfe ri^or in my laile. 
And yet thou wilt/or I being pent in thee. 
Perforce am thine and all that is in oie. 

CO now I hauc confcft that he is thine, 

And I my felfe am morgag'd to thy will, 
My felfe He forfcit,fo that other mine. 
Thou wilt reftorc to be my comfort ftill: 
But thou wilt not,nor he will not b« free. 
For thou art couctous,and he is kmde. 
He learnd but furetie-like to write for me, 
Vnder that bond that him as faft doth bindc. 
The ftatute of thy beauty thou wilt take. 
Thou yfurer that put'ft forth all to vfe, 


S O N N B T S. 

And fiie a fricndjCsmc debter for my fake. 

So him I loofe through my vnkinde abufr. 
Him haue I loft, thou haft both him and me, 
He paics the whole, and yet am I not free. 

\i\7 Ho euer hath her wift),thou haft thy fVill^ 
And AF/7/ too boote.and Wtll in ouer-plus, 

More then enough am I that vexc thee ftill. 

To thy fvveet will making addition thus. 

Wi'.t thou whofe vvll is large and fpatious, 

Not once vouchfafctohidcmy will in thine. 

Shall w ill in others fceme right gracious. 

And in my will no faire acceptance rhine; 

The fca all watcr,yet recciucs raine ftill. 

And in aboundance addcth to his ftorc, 

So thou bceing rich in fVtll adde to thy fVtlt, 

One will of mine to make thy large ^i// more. 
Let no vnkinde,no faire befeechers kill, 
Thinkc all but onejand me in that one rvill. 


IF thy foulc check thee that I come fo ncere, 
S weare co thy blind foule that I was thy iVtll^ 
And will thy foule knowcs is admitted there, 
Thus tarre for louc, my loue-futc fweet fuUfill. 
fT///, will fulfill the treafureof thy louc, 
I fill it full with vvils,and my will one, 
In things of great receit with cafe we prooue, 
Among a number one is reckoned none. 
Then in the number let me pafle vntold. 
Though in thy ftores account I one muft be. 
For nothing hold me, fo it pleafc thee hold. 
That nothing me,a fome-thing fwcct to thee. 
Make but my name thy loue,and louc that ftill, 
And then thou loueft mc for my name is VVtU. 

rou blindc foolc louc, what dooft thou to mine eyes, 
I That 


Tliat they bcholi and fee not wb at they fee : 

They know vvHatbeaiitie is/ec whcr< it lyes, 

Yet what th^ belt is^takc the \vorf> to be. 

Ifeycs corrupt by ouer-jKirtiall lookcs, 

Be anchord in the baye whc»< aU men ride, 

Why of cy;^s falfchood !u(t thou forged hookcs, 

Whereto the iud^cment of :T>y heart is tide ? 

Why iTiould my hc'art thinkcihat a feiierall plot, 

Which my heart knowe? the wide worlds con.inon place? 

Or mine eyes feeing this/ay this is not 

To put fairc truth vpon Co foulc a faice, 

In things rig!it true my heart and eyes haue erred^- 
And to this falfc plague are ihey now tranffcrrcd. 

71/ Hen my loue fwcarcs that fhe is made of truth^ 
I do belecuc her though J know flic lyes, 

Tliat fhc migln thinke me fome vntutcrd youth, 

Vrilearnedin the werldsfalfc fubiilties. 

Thus vainely thinkiiig.thK fhc ihmkes mc young. 

Although flic knovvesmy daycsare paft thebert. 

Simply I credit herfafte Ipcaking tongue, 

On both fides thus is fimple truth fuppreft : 

But wherefore fayes fhe not fhe is vniuft ? . 

And wherefore fay not I that I arp old ? > 

O loucs beft habif*'i%in fccming tnift,. 

A«d age in loue,loues not t'hauc yeares ioW;= 
Therefore I lye with hcr,apd fhc with inc. 
And in our fauUsby^Iycswc flattered bc^ 


Call not me to iuAifie tUc wrong. 

r hat thy vnkindnefle laycs vpon my heart, 
Wound mc not with thine eye but with th* toqng, . 
Vie power w ith powcr.and flay me not by Art, 
Tell mcthou lou'itelfc-whcrfjbut in my fight, 
Deare heart forbea'c to glance thine eye afidc. 
What occ4ft thou wound with.tuniiing wh^n thy might 


Is more then my ore-prcfl defence can bide? 
Let me txtufc thcc,ah niyloue wcllknowcs. 
Her prcttic lookcs luuc bccnc mine enemies, 
And therefore frotn my face flic turncs my foes, 
That they clfc-w here might dart'their iniurics ; 
Yet do not fo,but fincc I am ncerc flainc. 
Kill mc out-ri^ht with Iookcs,and rid my paine. 

BE wife as thou art crucII,do not prcfTc 
My toung-tide patience with too much difdainc : 
Lcart forrovv lend me words and words cxprefle, 
The mrmner of my pittic wanting painc. 
7fl might teach thee witte better it '.vcarc. 
Though nor to loue.yct lone to teii me fo, 
As tcfiicrick-mcn wlicn their deaths be ncerc, 
No n^wes but health from their Phifitions know. 
For if I fliould difpaire I fl-jould grow madde. 
And in my madnefl'c might fpeakc ill of thee. 
Now this ill vvrefting world is grownc fo bad, 
Madde flanderers by madde eares bcleeucd be. 

That I may not be fo, nor thou be lyde, (wide. 

Bcarc thine eyes flraight , though thy proud heart goc 

I 141 

N faith I doe not lone thcc with mine cj'es. 
For they in thee a thoufand errors note. 
But 'tis my heart that loues what they difpife. 
Who in difpight of view is plcafd to dote. 
Nor are mine cares with thy toungs tune delighted, 
Nor tender fechng to bafe touches prone, 
Nor tafte, nor fmcll, dcfire to be inuited 
To any fcnfuall feali with thee alone •• 
But my fiue wits,nor my fiue fences can 
Difwade one foolifh heart from feruing thcc,' 
Wholeaucs vnfwai'd thelikcne(fcof aman. 
Thy proud hearts flauc and vaflfall wretch to be J 
Oncly niy plague thus farrc I count my gainc, 
That (he that makes mc finnc,awards mc painc. 

1 % Loue 


LOuc is my finnc,and thy deaic vertuc hate, 
Hate of my finnCjgroundcd on finfull louing, 

O but with mine, compare thou thine owne flatc. 

And thou fhalt finde it mrtrits not reproouing, 

Or if it do, not from thofc lips of thine, 

That haue proplun'd their fcarlet ornaments. 

And feald faJfe bonds of loue as oft as mine, I 

Robd others beds rcuenues of their rents. j 

Beitlavvfull I louethceasthoulou'lUho/e, j 

Whome thine eyes wooc as mine importune thee, 

Roote pittie in thy heart that when it growes, ; 

Thy pitty may deferue to pittied bee. 

If thou dooft feeke ro haue what thou dooft hide, 1 

By felfe example mai'lt thou be denide, | 

IOc as a carefullhufwife runncs to catch, j 

^Oiie ofher fethcred creatures broake away, ; 

Sets downeherbabe and makes all fwiftdifpatch 1 

In purfuit of the thing (lie would haue flay: j 

Xyhiirt her neglcdcd child holds her in chace, I 

Cries to catch her whofe bufie care is beht, i 
To follow that which flics before her face: 

Not prizing her poore infants difcontcnt; 1 

So runft thou after that which flies from thee, I 

Whilft I thy babe chace thee a farre behind, i 
But if thou catch thy hope tu'rne back to me: 
And play the mothers part kiflc mc,be kind. 

So will I pray that thou maift haue thy IViUy : 

If thou turne back aiwi my loude crying flill, ■* 

144 I 

TWo loucs I haue of comfort and difpairc. 
Which like two fpirits do fugieii me ftiU, 
The better angcll is a man rig.h£ fairc: 

The worfcr fpirit a woman coUour'd il. j 

To win mc foone to heli my fcmall euiil, i 

Tempteth j 


Tcmpteth my better angel from my Cight, 

And would corrupt iny faint to be a diuel: 

Wooing his purity with her fowlc pride. 

And whether that my angel be turn'd finde, 

Sulpcct 1 m.iy.yet not dirciUy tell. 

But being both from me both to each friend, 

I geffc one angel in an others hcl. 

Yet this iTial I nere know but Hue in doubt, 
TiJl my bad angel fire my good one out. 

THofc lips that Loucs owne hand did make, 
Breath'd forth the found that faid I hate, 
To me that languillit for her fake.* 
But when fhe faw my wofull (tatc. 
Straight in her heart did mercie come. 
Chiding that tongue that euer fwect. 
Was vfde m giuing gentle dome: 
And tought it thus a new to grectc: 
I hate fhe alterd with an end. 
That foiiow'd it as gentle day. 
Doth follow night who like a fiend 
From heaucn to hell is flowne away^ 

i hate,from hate away fhc threw. 

And fau'd my life faying not you, 

POore foule the center of my finfull earth. 
My finfull earth thefe rebbell powres that thcc array, 
Why do(\ thou pine within and fuffer dearth] 
Painting thy outward walk {o coftlie gay? 
Why fo large ccft hauing (o fhort a leafe, 
Doft thou ypon thy fading manfionfpcnd? 
Shall wormcs inheritors of this exceffe^ 
Eatevp thy charge.'is this thy bodies end? 
Then foule Hue thou vpon thy icruants lofTcy 
And let thatpinc to aggrauat thy ftorc; 
Euy ccaonesdimnc in ielHng homes ofdioffe: 

1 3 Wichio 


Within be fed, without be rich no more. 

So Hialt thou feed on death.that feeds on men, 
And death once dcad,ther' more dying then. 


MY louc is as a feaucr longing ftill, 
For that which longer nurfcch the difeafe, 
Feeding on that which doth prcferuc the ill, 
Th'vncertainc ficklie appetite to pleafc; 
My rcafon the Phifltion to my loue, 
Ant^ry that his prcfcriptions are not kept 
Hath left nie.and I dcfpcratc now approoue, 
Dchrc is dcath,which Phifick did except. 
Part cure I am,now lleafon is paH care, 
And francick madde with eucr-moi e vnreft, 
My thoughts and my difcourfc as mad mens are. 
At randon from the truth vaincly cxprcft. 

For I haue fworne thee fairejand thought thcc bright. 
Who art as black as hcll^as darke as night. 

OMe ! what eyes hath loue put in my head, 
Which hauc no correfpondence w ith true fight, 

Or it tliev haue,whcrc is my ludgment fled. 

That cenfures falfely what they fee aright ? 

If that be faire whereon my falfecyes dote. 

What meanes the world to fay it is not fo ? 

If it be not,then loue doth well denote, 

I>oucs eye is not fo true as all menstno, 

How can it .' Ohow can loues eye be true. 

That is fo vext with watching and with tearesf 

No maruaile then though I miftake my view. 

The funne it felfc fees not, till beauen cleercs, 

O cunning louc,with tcares thou keepft me blindc, 
Leait eyes well feeing thy foulc faults (hould finde, 


CAnft thou O cruell,fay I louc thee not. 
When I againft my fcifc with ihec pertake : 



T)oc I not till like on thcc when I forgot 

Ami of ii)y Itlfc, all tiranc for thy fake? 

Who JKiuth thcc tiiac I doc ca'l my frieiu', 

On vvlu'iii troun (^ ilioii that I iloc taiiiic \po.i^ 

N.iy it ihou lo'.vrd on iiicJoc I not lj)cn(i 

R'iKii<.',c vpon my fc t'c vvich prdciit lUi^iKi' 

\V\ at men it tio I in my fcltc rclpccH-, 

'I'hnt is (opiouiiff ihy fcniicfto ililpilc, 

Wiicn aM my hcli doth woifliip thy dcTctf)-, 

Commaiidcd by the morion ofthiiic cyc5. 

Jiiit lout hate on for now 1 know thy mindf, 
Thofctliatcan fee thou lou'lVind I airi blind, 

OI 1 fi ')in whnr po-A re hull thou this po'.vrcTilll niiglif, 
With iiiiiiiru irniy my heart to fw.iy, 
To makt- lilt giuc the he to my true iij;lit , 
And 1 Acre that brightncHe doth not <;ra«.eihe day? 
Whence hali iliou this; of liung'. il, 
That in the very rcfufe of thy ilceds, 
There i^ filch ltreii(;[h and v.artan:i'cof s'r.ill, 
Tliat in my minde ihy v\otll ail bcH oxccd'ji* 
Wiio taiij^hi thee ho.v to niai-e iiu- lone ihee nuMC, 
The itiDrc ! hcare and fee iuft caiii'eof hate, 
Oil ifioiij'/n { lone what others doe abhor, 
Willi othtis thou (lioiildlt not al)hor my (late, 
iftliy vn.voi thinclfe raifll louc in mc. 
More worthy I to be belou'd of thee. 

I( )ijeis too yoiin^ to know whatconlcicncc i?, 
^Yet v.hoknowes nut con((.ience is bcnnc (<fiouc. 
Then };eni!c cheater vr;;cnot my amide, 
l-'-aft guilty of iTiy fault <. thy f 'Acct kite prouc. 
\''H thou betraymgmc, I doe betray 
My 11- Ader part to my ^rolc bodies ireafoiT, 
Myfoiile d(;ih If II my boiiy that he may, 

^ But 


But ryfing at thy namcdoth point out thee. 

As his triumphant pri2e,proucl ofthis pride. 

He is contented thy poore drudge to be 

To ftand in thy affaires,fall by thy Cidc. 
No want of confciencc hold it that I call, 
Herloue^for vvhofc deareloue Irifc and fall. 

INlouing thee thou know'ft I am forfworne. 
But thou art twice forfworne to me lone fwearing. 
In ad thy bed-vow broake and new faith tornc. 
In vowing new hate after new loue bearing: 
But why of two othcs breach doe I accufe thee, 
When I breake tvventytlamperiur'd mod:. 
For all my vowes arc othes but to mifufe thee; 
And all my honeft faith in thee is loft. 
Forlhauefworne deepcoihesofthy deepekindncfle: 
Othes of thy loue,thy truth,thy conftancic. 
And to inlighten thee gaue eyes to blindneffe. 
Or made them fvrere againft the thing they fee. 
Fori hauefworne thee faircrmoreperiurde eye. 
To fwcre againft the truth fo foule a lie. 

Cf^pid laid by his brand and fell a fleepe, 
A maide otDyaKs this aduantagc found. 
And his loue-kmdling fire did quickly fteepc 
In a could vallie-fountaine of that ground: 
Which borrowd froui this holie fire of loue, 
A datelefle liuely heat ftill to indure, 
And grew a feething bath which yet men proue, 
Againft ftrang malladies a foueraigne cure: 
But at my miftrcs eic loues brand new fired , 
The boy for triall needcs would touch my breft, 
1 fick withall the helpc of bath defired. 
And thethet hied a fad diftemperd gueft. 

But found no curPj'^hc bath for my heipe lies, 
Where Ctf^ got new firc;my miftr es eye. 


^ O N !>! E T S. 

TTHe little Louc-God lying once aflccpe, 
■■■ Laid by his fide his heart inflaming brand, 
Whilft many Nymphes that vou d chaft life to keep, 
Came tripping by,but in her maiden hand, 
The fayreft votary tooke vp that fire, 
Which many Legions of true hearts had warm*d. 
And fo thcGcnerallofhot defirc. 
Was fleeping by a Virgin hand difarm'd. 
This brand flie quenched in a coole Well by. 
Which from loucs fire tooke heat perpetuall. 
Growing a bath and healthful! remedy. 
For men difeafd,but I my Mifiriflc thrall, 
Came there for cure and this by that I proue, 
Loucs fire hcaces vvater,waccr coolcs not loue. 



A LoDcrs complaint. 

William Shak2-spbari, i 

IrjRom oiFa hill whofc concaue wombc reworded, \ 

Jl a plaintfuU (iory frcm a fiftring vale \ 

My rpirritst*attend this doblevoycc accorded, - 

And downc I laid to lift the fad tun'd talc. 

Ere long eipied a fickle maid full pale j 

Tearing ofpapcrs breaking ringa a twaine, 

Stonning her world with forrowes, wind and rainci^ 

Vpon her head a plattid hiue of ftraw, < 

"Which fortified her vifagc from the Sunne, 

Whereon the thought might thinke fometimcitfaw 

The carkas of a beauty fpent and dorme, ' 

Time had not fithed all that youth begun. 

Nor youth all quit,but fpight of heauens fell rsige, ; 

Some beauty pccpt,through lettice of lear'd age^ \ 


Oft did flic hcaue her Napkin to her eync, ] 

Which on it had conceited chare<5lers: • 

Laundring the filkcn figures in the brine. 

That feafoned woe had pelleted in teares. 

And often reading what contentsit bearess 

Asoftenfliriking vndiftinguirht wo, \ 

In clamours ofallfize both high and low, j 

Some-times her leueld eyes their carriage ride, 

Aj they did battry to thefpheres intend: 

Sometime diuerced their poore balls are tide, ] 

To th orbed earth ;fometimes they do extend, | 

Their view right on,4mon their gafcs lend, i 

C O M H. A I N T 

To tucty place at once and no where fixt. 
The mind and fight dirtra6\cdly commxic. 

Hcrhaire norloofc nor ti'd in fornjall plat, 

Prochimd in her acarclclTc hand ofprivic; 

For fome vntuck'd dcfcendcd her rticu'd har. 

Hanging her pale and pined chccke behdc. 

Some in her thrceden fillet ftill did bide. 

And crew to bondage would not breake from theiKC, 

Though Hackly braided in loofe negligence. 

A thoufand fauoursfroma maund fl^c drcv,*, 

Ofambcr chriRall and of bedded let, 

Which one by one Ok in a riucr threw, 

Vpon whofe weeping margcnt fhc was fct, 

Like vfery applying wet to wet , 

Or Monarches hands that lets not bounty falJ, 

Where want cries fomcibut where cxccflc begs all. 

Of folded fchcdulls had fhemany a one, 
Which fhcpcrufdjfighdjtorc and gauc the flud, 
Cracktmany aringofPofied gold and bone, 
Biddin'' them find their Sepulchcrs in mud. 
Found yet mo letters fadly pend in blood. 
With fleidcd filke/cate and affe6lcdly 
Enfwath'd and fcald to curious fecrecy. 

Thefe often bath'd fhc In her fliixiuc cies. 

And often k ift,and often gaue to tcare, 

Cried O falfe blood thou regKler ot lies. 

What vnapproued wicncs dooi\ thou beare! 

Inke would haue fecm'd more blackeand dainficdheaic* 

This faid in top of rage the lines fhc rents. 

Big difcontcnt/o breaking their contents. 

A reucrcnd man that gnid his cattcU ny, 

K 3 ^omc. 

A L t) V E R S 

Somciimc a bluPever that the ruffle ktKW 
OfCourt ofCittie,and hadlet go by . 
The fwiftcft hourcs obferucd as they flew. 
Towards this aflliiled fancy faftlydrew: 
And priuiledg'd by age defires to know 
In brccfe the grounds and motiues of her wo. 

So flides he downc vppon his greyncd !?at; 
And comely dirtant fus he by her fide. 
When hce againc defires her,being fatte. 
Her grccuancc with his hearing to deuidc* 
If that from him there may be ought applied 
Which may her fuffering extafie affwagc 
Tis promifi in the charitic of age , 

Father fhc faies,though in mccyou behold 
The iniury of many a blafting houre; 
Let it not tell your Judgement I am old, 
N <t agCjbut forrow,ouer me hath power; 
I might as yet hauc bene a fprcading flower 
Frcfh to my felfe, if I had fclte applyed 
Louc to my fclfe, and to no Louc befide. 

But wo is mec, too early latttendcd 
A youthfull fuit it was to gainc my grace; 
O one by natures outwards Co commended. 
That maidens eyes ftucke ouer all his face, 
Louc lackt a dwelling and made him her place* 
And when in his fawc parts fhee didde abide, 
Shce was new lodg'd and newly Deified. 

His browny locks did hang in crooked curies, 
And eucry light occafion of the wind 
Vpon his lippes their filken parcels hurles, 
Whats fweet to do,to do wil aptly find, 
F^di cycthatfavy hiiudid inchaunt the rainde: 


Complain r 

For on his vifagc was in little dravvnc, 

What largcncilc tlunkcs in parradifc vvasfawne. 

Smal Hicvv ofman was yet vpon his chinnc, 
His phcnix downe began but to appcare 
Like vnrhornc vcluct,on that tcrmlelTc skin 
Whole bare out-brag'd the web it fccm'd to were. 
Yet fliewed his vifage by that coft more dcarc, 
Andn:ce aftcf^ions waucring (tood in doubt 
If bert were as it vvas,cr belt without. 

His qualities were beautious as his forme, 

For maiden tongu'd he was and thereof free; 

Yet if men mouM him,was he fuch a ftorrac 

As oft twixt May and Aprill is to fee. 

When windes breath fvvcct,vnruly though tlpcy bcc. 

His rudeneffe fo with his authorized youth. 

Did liucry falfenefl'e in a pride of truth, 

Wei could hce ride, and often men would fay 

That horfehismettcU from his rider takes 

Proud of fubiedion,noble by the fwaic, ^makc* 

What roundsjwhat bounds,what courfe what flop he 

And controuerfie hence a quertion takes. 

Whether the horfe by him became his deed. 

Or he his mannad'g , hy'th wel doing Steed. 

But quickly on this fide the verdidt went. 
Hi s reall habitude gaue life and grace 
To appertainings and to ornament, 
Accomphfht in him-fclfe not in his cafe: 
AH ayds thcm-felues made fairer by their place. 
Can for addicions,yet their purpofd trimme 
Pcec'd not his grace but were al grac'd by him. 

So on the tip of his fubduing tongue 

K 3 AD 

A Lo VERf 

Ail kindc ofargumcnts and queftion dcepe^ 
Al replication ptompt,and reafon ftrong 
For his aduantagc ftill did wake and flccp, 
• To make the weeper laugK,the laugher wccpw 
He hadthe dialeft and different skil. 
Catching al paffions in his craft of will. 

That hcc diddc in the general bolome ralgne 
Of young, of old, and iexcs both inchanted , 
To d wel with him in thoughts,or to remainc 
In perfonal duty/oUowing where he haunted, 
Confent*sbewitcht,crchc dcfirc hauc granted. 
And dialogu'd for him what he would fay, 
Askt their ovvn wils and made their wiU obey. 

Many there were that did his pi<5>ure gettc 
To feruetheircies.andinitput their mind, 
Likcfoolej that in ih' imagination fct 
The goodly obic6ls which abroad they find 
Oflands and manfion»,thcirs in thought aflign*d. 
And labouring in moe pleafurcs to beflovv them. 
Then the true gouty Land-lord which doth owe them. 

So many hauc that ncuer toucht his hand 
Sweetly fuppofd them miftreffc of his heart: 
My wofull fclfe that did in frecdome ftand. 
And was my ownc fee fimpIe(not in part^ 
What with his art in youth and youth in art 
Threw my affe(5lions in his charmed power, 
Rcfcru d the ftalke and gauc him al my flower. 

Yet did I not as forae my equals did 
Dcmaund of him,nor being defircdyecldcd* 
Finding my felfc in honour fo forbiddc. 
With fafcft diftaticc I mine honour fhcelded, 
£)u>enence for mc aiinv buiwackcs buildcd 



Of proofs new bleeding which rcmaind the folic 
Ofehis fal(c IcwcU^and his amorous fpoile. 

But ah who euer fhun d by precedent. 

The dciVin'd ill fhe muft her fclfc afTay, 

Or forc'd examples gainft her owne content 

To put the by-paft pcrnls in her way? 

Counfaile may flop a while what will not (hy; 

For when we rage,aduife is often fcenc 

By blunting vs to make our witi more keene. 

Nor glues it fatisfav^ion to our blood. 
That wee muft curbc it yppon others proofc, 
To be forbod the fvvcets that fcemes fo good. 
For feare of harircs that preach in our behoofc; 
O appetite from judgement ftand aloofct 
The one a pallate hath that needs will tafte. 
Though reafon wccpe and cry it is thy laft. 

For further I could fay this mans vntrue. 
And knew the pattcrnes of his foule beguiling. 
Heard where his plants in others Orchards grew. 
Saw how deceits wereguilded in his fmiling. 
Knew rovvcSjVvcr c euer brokers to defiling. 
Thought Chara6l:ers and words meerly but aitr 
And bafiards of his fbule adulterat heart. 

And long vpon thefc termcs I held my Citty, 
Till thus hee gan'bcfiegemc : Gentle nftaid *< 
Haue of my fuffcring youth fome feeling pitty 
And be not of my holy vo wes affraid, 
Thatsto ye fworncto none was euer (aid. 
For fcafts of loue I haue bene call'd vnto 
Till now did nere inuite nor neucr vow. 

AH my offenas that abroad you fee 

K 4 Afc 

A L o V E R * 

Are crrort of the blood hone ofthe roinds 

Louc made them not,wkh a<aurc they may be. 

Where neither Party is nor crew nor kind. 

They fought thetr ftiarte that fo their fliamc did find. 

And fo much leffe of (hame in me remaincs, 

By how much of me their leproch comaincs. 

Among the many that mine eyes haUe ftenc. 

Not one whofe flame my hart fo much as Vvarmcd, 

Or my affe6lion put to th, fmalleft teene, 

Oi any of my leifures euer Charmed, 

Harmc haue I done to them but nerc was harmed. 

Kept hearts in Iiueries,but mine owne was free, 

And raignd commaunding in his monarchy. 

Looke hcarc what tributes wounded fancies (cnt mc. 

Of palyd pearles and rubies red as blood; 

Fi^^uring that they their paflions likcwife lent me 

Of grecfe and blufhes, aptly vnder flood 

In bloodleffe white,and the encrimfon'd mood. 

Effects of terror and deare modefly , 

Encampt m hearts but fighting outwardly. 

And Lo behold thcfe tallents of their heir, ^ 
With twifted mettle amoroufly empleacht 
I haue receau'd from many a feuef al faire. 
Their kind acceptance, wepingly befeecht. 
With th'annexions of faire gems inricht, ' >• 
Anc^deepc brain d fonncts that did amplihis : 
Each flones deare Naturc,woah and quallity. 

The Diattiond?why twas beautiful! and hard. 
Whereto his inuifd properties did tend. 
The deepe greenc Emrald in whofe frcfh regard, 
Weake fights their fickly radicnce do amend. - 
The hcauen he wd Saphic and the Opali blend 



With obiedls many fold ; each fcucrall ftonc, 
With wit well blazond fmjl'd or made fomc monc, 

Lo all thefe trophies ofaffc£lions hot. 

Of pcnfiu'd and fjbdcvv'd dcfircs tlie tender, 

Nature hath chargd me that I hoord them not , 

But yeeld them vp where I n)y fclfe muft render: 

That is to you my origin and ender : 

For thcfc of force muflyour oblations be, 

Since I their Aulter,)euenpatrone mc. 

Oh then aduaTJcc(ofyours^thatphrafcles hand, 
Whofe white weighes downe the airy fcale of praife. 
Take alltliefefimiiics to your owne command, 
Hollowed w ith fighcs that burnin<z lunscs did ratfe: 
What me your minii-ler for you oba ics 
Workes vnder you, and to y our audit comes 
Their diitra(fbparcells,rn combined fummcs. . * 

Lo this deuice was fent me from a Nun, 
Or Sifter fan (f^ificd of holieft note. 
Which late her noble fuit in court did ihun, 
Whofe rateft hauings made the blofloms dote. 
For fhe was fought by fpirits of ritcheft cote. 
But kept cold diftancc.and did thence remoue, 
To fpend her liuing in eternall louc. 

But oh my fwcet what labour ifl to Icaue, 
The thing we haue not.maflring what not (triues, 
Phying the Place which did no forme rereiuc. 
Playing patient fports in vnconftraind giues, 
She thatvhcr fame fo to her felfe contriucs. 
The fcarrcs of battaiic fcapeth by the flight, 
And makes her abfcncc valiant,not her might. 

Oh pardon me in that my boafl is :tuc, 

L The 

A LoviRs 

Th c accident which brought mc to her elf, 
Vpon the iTKjment did her force fubdcwc. 
And now rhc would the caged cloifter flie: 
Reli<'ious louc put out religions eye: 
Not to be tempted would (he be cnur'd. 
And no-A to tempt all liberty procure. 

How mightic then you are, Oh heart me tell. 
The broken bofoms that to me belong, 
Hiue emptied all their fountaines in my well: 
And mine I powre yourOcean all amonge: 
I ftrong ore them and you ore mc being Hrong, 
Mud for your vi(ftori^Tsal]congert, 
As compound loue to phifickyour cold breft. 

My part<5 h ad powre to charmc a facred Sunnc, 
Who difciplin'd I dieted in grace, 
Bclecu'd her cies,whcn they t' afTaile begun. 
All vowcs and confecrations giuing place: 
O moftpotentiallloue,vowe, bond,nor fpacc 
In thee hath neither fiing,knot,nor confine 
For thou art all and all things els are thine. 

When thou impreffcft what are precepts worth 

Offlale exampkPwhenthou wilt inflame. 

How coldly thofe impediments ftand forth 

Of wealth of filliall fcare,lawe, kindred fame, f'fliame 

Loues armes arc peace, gainft rule »gainft fence, gainft 

And fweetcns in the fufiring pangues it beares. 

The Alices of all forces, Qiockes and feares. 

Now all thcfc hearts that doe on mine depend. 
Feeling it breake,with bleeding groanes they pine, 
And fupplicant their fighes to you extend 
To leauc the battrie that you make gainft mine. 
Lending fofc audience, to toy f ACCt defigae^ 



And credent foulcjio that ftrong bonded oth, 
That fliall prefcrrc and vndcrtakc my troth, 

,This faidjhis watric eics he did difmounc, 
Whofc fightcs till then were Icaucld on my face, 
Each chceke a riucr running from a fount, 
With brynifh currant downc-ward flowed a pace: 
Oh how the channell to the flreamc gauc grace! 
Who glaz.'d with Chriftail gate the glowing Rofes, 
That flame through water which their hew inclofcc, 

Oh father,what a hell of witch-craft lies. 
In the fmall orb of one pcrticubr teare? 
I^ut w ith the invndation of the eies; 
What rocky heart to water will not weare? 
What bref^ fo cold that is not warmed hcare. 
Or cleft effc6l,cold modcfty hot wrath: 
Both fire from hence,and chill extinfhire hath. 

For loe his paffion but an art of craft, 

Euen there rcfolu'd my reafon into tcarcs. 

There my w hitc flole of chaftity I daft, 

Shookc off my fobcr gardcs,and ciuill fcarcs, 

Appcare to him as he to me appcares: 

Ail meltingjthough our drops this diffrencc bore, 

His poifon'd me, and mine did him reflorc. 

In him a plenitude of fubtle matter. 

Applied to Cautills,all flraing formes rccdues, 

Of burning blufhcs,or of weeping water, 

Or founding palenefTe : and he takes and leaucs. 

In eithers aptncflc as it beft deceiues: 

To blufh at ipecchcs ranck , to weepe at woes 

Or to turnc white and found at tragick (howcs. 

That not a heart which in his Icucll came, 

L a CouM 

Thb Loviki 

Could fcape the hauc of his all huriing'ayme, 
Shcwinc taire N*ture is both kindc and tatnc : 
And ?aild in them did vvinnc whom he would maime, 
Againft the thing he rought.he would exclaime. 
When he moft burnt in hart-wifht luxutie, 
He prcacht pure maidc,and praifd cold cliaditic. 

Thus mcerely ^vith the garment of a grace. 
The naked and concealed fcind he coucrd, 
Thatth'vncxpcrfent gauc the tempter place. 
Which like a Cherubin aboue them houcrd, 
Who young and (implc would not be Co loucrd* 
Aye nac 1 kll.and yet do qucftion make, 
What I Ihould doc againc for fuch a fake. 

O that infe(5^ed moyfturc of his eye, 
O that falfe fire which in his chccke fo glowd : 
O that forc'd thunder from his heart did flyc, 
O that fad breath his fpungie lungs beftovvcd^ 
O all that borrowed motion fecming owed, , 
Would yet againc betray the fore-betrayed. 
And new pcrucrt a reconciled Maidc, 



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